The six finalists in the 2014 Electrolux Design Lab certainly threw up some eye-catching ideas. This year's competition called on designers from around the world to conceive appliances in line with the theme of "Creating Healthy Homes." Electrolux has now revealed the winner, the Future Hunter-Gatherer concept aimed at reconnecting us with our food sources by gamifying the task of grocery shopping.
Developed by Chinese design student Pan Wang, Future Hunter-Gatherer creates a virtual shopping experience whereby the family gathers the items in-game for their dinner. After selecting the main ingredients for the meal – fish, for example – the circular device projects a hologram of the food items around the room.
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As family members hunt and gather the food, the game sends data to a local grocery store which then delivers them to the door. The process is designed to replicate traditional methods of sourcing food and build our awareness of where it originates.
"I find that there is a lack of connection between people and food sources, as buying food from supermarkets is so easy, people have lost knowledge of where the ingredients actually come from," says Wang. "I was inspired by the traditional way people collected food – the hunter-gather period. By simulating nature, bringing an element of gamification into food preparation, and connecting this with the food suppliers, learning about food and buying groceries becomes a fun and educational activity for the whole family.”
Wang beat out second place winner Fulden Dehneli, whose Lotus concept uses rechargeable balls as mobile air purification devices. Third place went to UrbanCone, which involves floating, radio-controlled air purifying devices inspired by Chinese lanterns.
"In an educational, honest and playful way, this concept addresses issues of ecology and consumer awareness related to the food supply chain in an urban society,” Lars Erikson, Senior Vice President Design at Electrolux and Head of Jury, says of Wang's Future Hunter-Gatherer device.
Wang's reward for topping more than 1,700 entrants in the 2014 Electrolux Design Lab is €5,000 (US$6,230) and a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center.
You can see a video demonstration of Future Hunter-Gatherer below.