Product Design – Electrolux Design Lab 2012: Finalists

Design Lab is Swedish appliances major Electroluxs’ annual student product design competition. In this tenth year of the contest, there were 1200 entries, from which these ten finalists were shortlisted to battle it out in Milano, Italy on 25.10.12. As I was going through the entries, the final thirty and now down to ten, it was quite clear that the shortlisting was done considering the Electrolux business idea of a ‘smart’ kitchen / home, with an ‘amazing range of capabilities’. I also paused to think whether there has been a collective dumbing down in this rather frenzied race for ‘smartness’. Student contests do have an exploitative edge, as major corporations seek out business-next ideas for the price of a cola can. The text accompanying each of the entries here is untouched and presented in their sugar coated, sales pitch manner. I found some of the project ideas redundant and almost laughable, and for large populations of the world, most of them are alien objects, sans meaningful form and credible function.

Impress
Country: New Zealand
Designer: Ben de la Roche
School: Massey University
How many times have you put left overs in the fridge and forgotten about them, only to come back a week later and find them spoiled? Impress completely transforms the way we refrigerate. Impress is a refrigeration wall that holds your food and drinks for you, out in the open and not behind closed doors so you will always remember the lunch you prepared for work or find that midnight snack with ease. Also, Impress refrigerator does not refrigerate when there is nothing in it and uses less power the fewer items are pressed into it. Waste no more leftovers, waste less space and save more money with Impress.

Memory
Country: China
Designer: Wen Yao Cai
School: Guangdong Industry Technical College of China
A small but important part of many people’s lives is the intimacy of having a barista who remembers who you are and more importantly how you have your coffee. Memory is a coffee maker that uses hand print recognition to make the right cup of coffee for the right person. Whether you want weak, medium or strong coffee or maybe you prefer an espresso to a ristretto. Any way that you might think the perfect cup of coffee is made, Memory will remember every time. You tell it what you want, it scans your hand and the next time you want that exact same cup of coffee Memory is ready and waiting to serve it to you.

SmartPlate
Country: United Kingdom/Romania
Designer: Julian Caraulani
School: Coventry University
Share the recipe of sound with SmartPlate. SmartPlate is the world’s first intelligent dish that physically understands food and transforms it into sound, completing the circle of senses by which we understand what we eat. The plate wirelessly connects to your mobile device, then by measuring different aspects of your ingredients it identifies food and precisely attaches musical notes, harmonies and rhythm to each ingredient. The user can actively listen, compose and interact with recipes of sound, sharing the experience in the most intimate way: by music.

Tastee
Country: Denmark
Designer: Christopher Holm-Hansen
School: Technical University of Denmark
Don’t you wish you had the sophisticated palette of a professional chef? The Electrolux Tastee is a taste indicator that is used when cooking to assist the chef in bringing out the flavours in the meal. The Tastee is the shape and size of a regular spoon but with one main difference, The Tastee tastes for you. Using receptors based on the human taste bud the Tastee tells you what you need, what you don’t and maybe even something you would never imagine. Tastee helps you make the perfectly balanced, flavourful meal for you and your family to enjoy.

Mo’Sphere
Country: Mexico
Designer: Yunuén Hernández
School: Centro de Investigaciones de Diseño Industrial- UNAM
The excitement and adventure of creating something new is what makes cooking fun. Mo’Sphere allows the user to experiment with and experience new flavours and sensations through the exciting world of “molecular cooking”. Until now the realm of molecular cooking has been dominated by celebrity chefs and Five Star restaurants. With Mo’Sphere your kitchen becomes a place of exciting new creations and tastes the like you’ve never known.

Treat
Country: Australia
Designer: Amy Mon-Chu Liu
School: Queensland University of Technology
Tree + Eat = Treat
The Treat seamlessly combines classic food storage techniques, such as vacuum sealing, with modern remote, mobile technology for the perfect combination of freshness and convenience that is more important than ever in our increasingly busy lives. The treat has a clever and intuitive way of communicating and warning you when your food is expiring by firstly, changing colour as the food ages and finally dropping from the tree when the food has expired. You can even access the Treat with a mobile app and tell it to preheat your meal before you even get home. Treat yourself to fresher food and more of your own valuable time with The Treat.

Easy Stir
Country: Norway
Designer: Lisa Frodadottir Låstad
School: Norwegian University of Science and Technology
The Easystir stirs for you so your hands are free to make the most of life. By utilising magnets that react to your induction stove the Easystir will literally save you time and money by never needing to becharged, batteries replaced or plugged into a wall socket. The stirring speed can be adjusted easily by the user while the Easystir adjusts itself to fit into almost any pot. It’s compact, dishwasher safe and can be stored as simply and neatly as any other kitchen utensil. While Easystir is hard at work in the kitchen you are free to spend more time with your friends and family.

Spummy
Country: Brazil
Designer: Alexandre de Bastiani
School: Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná
The Spummy is the future of flavour creation. Using nano-technology the Spummy creates edible foam with any flavour or combination of flavours you can imagine. With endless possibilities of flavour combinations this is the perfect tool for those looking to impress. Spummy is inspired by Ferran Adrià, the inventor of flavoured foam that helped win him Restaurant of the Year four years in a row. With the Spummy the future of 5 star cuisine is possible in your own home.

Aeroball
Country: Poland
Designer: Jan Ankiersztajn
School: Uniwersytet Artystyczny w Poznaniu
The Aeroball is a revolutionary way to improve the spaces in which we live. In tiny bubbles that float and hover, the Aeroball cleans and filters the air while hovering in place. When filtration is not enough, the Aeroball also comes in scented varieties. Designed with inspiration from nature, the glowing shell of the sphere absorbs light during the day and radiates it at night, a delicate indoor firefly always working to improve the air that we breathe. Space is such a valuable commodity these days so the Aeroball works to purify, refresh and beautify our space to make the environments we live in a little bit more precious.

ICE
Country: Spain
Designer: Julen Pejenaute
School: Universidad Politecnica de Valencia
ICE sheds new light on the world of cooking. ICE can not only be used as basic lamp with adjustable brightness or colour to fit the mood of any dining occasion. “Experience” is one mode used to enhance your meal by adding interactive backgrounds that react to you movements and creating dynamic links between objects on the table. When placed above any cooking or dining area ICE can scan its surroundings and assist the user in creating the best meal to suit any occasion. ICE can scan ingredients you’ve already chosen to cook and give suggestions on meals that can be made from those ingredients. The user can also access a vast database of recipes and ICE will guide you every step of the way. ICE is a great way to learn and experience a whole new world of cooking in your own home.

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14 Comments on "Product Design – Electrolux Design Lab 2012: Finalists"

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Allan Tierce
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I am looking to see who the winner is. Jury member Thomas Johansson described the line-up for this year’s final as ‘The best ever’.

Tsui
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Congratulations to the winner.

Tyrone
Guest

I don’t think you have been very kind to all the hard work that the contestants have put in. These product concepts are niche, and will stay niche. They are not meant to be inclusive and so forth.

underthetableanddreaming
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underthetableanddreaming

fairy tales, on less. most of the are quite pointless.

Ken
Guest

I am from south Florida and I have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design. I want to get a master’s degree in industrial design / product design, and I was looking at possibilities in Europe closely. Honestly, I don’t enjoy design for the classes, but rather prefer design for the masses. But I guess its electrolux, and therefore this shortlist is disappointing and expected.

lordoftherings
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i looked up some of the other projects in the running from the main site, and i think there were some more intesting ones than these lot. anyway all the best to the winner.

Vanleuven
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Ideating is ok. Really would like to see if at least one of these go into production and is marketed. I have my doubts.

fabio
Guest

flavored foam lol have to feed my shaving blade…..

Javier Messerly
Guest

Why oh Why would I want to transform my food into sound!!? Plain silly.

sharmishtha
Guest

haha this is surely the way 2 the rolling lumps of humans we saw in WallE :)

C Poynor
Guest

Its hard to believe that this is the best the world talent has to offer.

manish
Guest

i am a school student and i’m curious about the profession of product design and know very little. Thank you sir.

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