Good Thinking

Six finalists of the 2014 Electrolux Design Lab competition revealed

Six finalists of the 2014 Elec...
The Future Hunter Gatherer concept is one of the six finalists remaining in the Electrolux Design Lab 2014 competition
The Future Hunter Gatherer concept is one of the six finalists remaining in the Electrolux Design Lab 2014 competition
View 17 Images
The Future Hunter Gatherer concept is one of the six finalists remaining in the Electrolux Design Lab 2014 competition
1/17
The Future Hunter Gatherer concept is one of the six finalists remaining in the Electrolux Design Lab 2014 competition
Equipped with photovoltaic solar panel wings and exchangeable filters, the UrbanCone is a radio-controlled device aimed at providing clean air wherever they may be needed
2/17
Equipped with photovoltaic solar panel wings and exchangeable filters, the UrbanCone is a radio-controlled device aimed at providing clean air wherever they may be needed
Using Super Plasma Ion technology, the Lotus air purification system produces active hydrogen and oxygen ions said to kill off biological contaminants and active oxygen
3/17
Using Super Plasma Ion technology, the Lotus air purification system produces active hydrogen and oxygen ions said to kill off biological contaminants and active oxygen
Using Super Plasma Ion technology, the Lotus air purification system produces active hydrogen and oxygen ions said to kill off biological contaminants and active oxygen
4/17
Using Super Plasma Ion technology, the Lotus air purification system produces active hydrogen and oxygen ions said to kill off biological contaminants and active oxygen
Using Super Plasma Ion technology, the Lotus air purification system produces active hydrogen and oxygen ions said to kill off biological contaminants and active oxygen
5/17
Using Super Plasma Ion technology, the Lotus air purification system produces active hydrogen and oxygen ions said to kill off biological contaminants and active oxygen
Set To Mimic involves a transparent gel patch which, when placed on your head, communicates with your brain to evoke memories of your favorite tastes and smells
6/17
Set To Mimic involves a transparent gel patch which, when placed on your head, communicates with your brain to evoke memories of your favorite tastes and smells
Set To Mimic involves a transparent gel patch which, when placed on your head, communicates with your brain to evoke memories of your favorite tastes and smells
7/17
Set To Mimic involves a transparent gel patch which, when placed on your head, communicates with your brain to evoke memories of your favorite tastes and smells
Set To Mimic involves a transparent gel patch which, when placed on your head, communicates with your brain to evoke memories of your favorite tastes and smells
8/17
Set To Mimic involves a transparent gel patch which, when placed on your head, communicates with your brain to evoke memories of your favorite tastes and smells
The Future Hunter Gatherer concept provides a virtual shopping experience. The user selects the type of meal and a hologram is projected with which family members can interact, collecting virtual fish, for example
9/17
The Future Hunter Gatherer concept provides a virtual shopping experience. The user selects the type of meal and a hologram is projected with which family members can interact, collecting virtual fish, for example
The Future Hunter Gatherer concept provides a virtual shopping experience. The user selects the type of meal and a hologram is projected with which family members can interact, collecting virtual fish, for example
10/17
The Future Hunter Gatherer concept provides a virtual shopping experience. The user selects the type of meal and a hologram is projected with which family members can interact, collecting virtual fish, for example
Feed discarded plastic bottles into the wall-mounted Pete machine, select an item type and the bottles are converted into polyester clothing items
11/17
Feed discarded plastic bottles into the wall-mounted Pete machine, select an item type and the bottles are converted into polyester clothing items
Feed discarded plastic bottles into the wall-mounted Pete machine, select an item type and the bottles are converted into polyester clothing items
12/17
Feed discarded plastic bottles into the wall-mounted Pete machine, select an item type and the bottles are converted into polyester clothing items
Feed discarded plastic bottles into the wall-mounted Pete machine, select an item type and the bottles are converted into polyester clothing items
13/17
Feed discarded plastic bottles into the wall-mounted Pete machine, select an item type and the bottles are converted into polyester clothing items
The Pure Towel concept from Mexican designer Leobardo Armenta promises to clean your towel while its hanging there
14/17
The Pure Towel concept from Mexican designer Leobardo Armenta promises to clean your towel while its hanging there
The Pure Towel concept from Mexican designer Leobardo Armenta promises to clean your towel while its hanging there
15/17
The Pure Towel concept from Mexican designer Leobardo Armenta promises to clean your towel while its hanging there
The Pure Towel concept from Mexican designer Leobardo Armenta promises to clean your towel while its hanging there
16/17
The Pure Towel concept from Mexican designer Leobardo Armenta promises to clean your towel while its hanging there
The Pure Towel concept from Mexican designer Leobardo Armenta promises to clean your towel while its hanging there
17/17
The Pure Towel concept from Mexican designer Leobardo Armenta promises to clean your towel while its hanging there

When it opened for entries in February of this year, the Electrolux Design Lab competition challenged students from around the world to come up with innovative appliance concepts for the homes of the future. "Creating Healthy Homes" was the theme and after previously announcing the 35 semi-finalists, the organizers have now whittled over 1,700 entrants down to six finalists, who will look to wow a jury with their designs in France next month.

To paint a picture of what it takes to win the coveted design competition, Colombia's Adrian Perez Zapata topped the 2013 submissions with his Mab concept, a swarm of micro-drones that zip around the home cleaning up unkempt surfaces. The technology isn't there yet, but it is such forward-thinking solutions that are needed to capture the judges' imaginations.

The 2014 competition is split into three categories.

Air Purification

UrbanCone concept

UrbanCONE - Finalist Electrolux Design Lab 2014

Polish designer Michał Pośpiech says his concept was inspired by Chinese lanterns that float through the air. We wonder if the toxic air pollution that plagues many Chinese cities also played a part in the design of these jellyfish-like air purifiers. Equipped with photovoltaic solar panel wings and exchangeable filters, the UrbanCone is a radio-controlled device aimed at providing purifying the air, both indoors and out.

Lotus concept

Lotus - Finalist Electrolux Design Lab 2014

Lotus consists of one central unit and three rechargeable balls that function as mobile air purification devices. The system can be controlled by smart devices and, while the main unit provides general purification, the three balls have specific tasks and are named Pure Ball, Odor Ball and Humid Ball.

Using Super Plasma Ion technology, a feature of Samsung's air purifiers, the system produces active hydrogen and oxygen ions said to kill off biological contaminants and active oxygen. Designer Fulden Dehneli of Turkey says the portable unit could prove handy wherever clean air is desired, from cooking to sleeping to cleaning out mothballed closets.

Culinary Enjoyment

Set To Mimic concept

SET TO MIMIC - Finalist Electrolux Design Lab 2014

Perhaps the most mouthwatering concept of all, Set To Mimic involves a transparent gel patch that wirelessly receives signals from the companion plate and which, when placed on your head, communicates with your brain to evoke memories of your favorite tastes and smells. Having trouble getting those brussel sprouts down the hatch? Why not trick your brain into thinking its a triple-choc fudge sundae instead?

Romanian designer Sorina Răsteanu came up with the idea for Set To Mimic while undergoing a self-imposed, year-long ban on soda. As she stared into her glass of plain old water, the craving for Coke became too much and she started to explore the concept more seriously. She says Set To Mimic could help to reduce obesity by eliminating peoples' cravings for junk food. It could also help diabetics and those with food allergies enjoy foods they can't otherwise eat.

Future Hunter Gatherer concept

Future Hunter-Gatherer - Finalist Electrolux Design Lab 2014

There's a lot said these days about a disconnect between the food on our plate and our awareness of where it's actually coming from. The Future Hunter Gatherer concept from UK designer Pan Wang looks to bridge this gap by gamifying family meal time.

The circular device provides a virtual shopping experience, with the user selecting the type of meal and a hologram of the meal's ingredients then projected into the room with which family members can interact, collecting virtual fish, for example. As the foods are collected in the game, data is sent to the local grocery store or market which then delivers the gathered items to the door.

Fabric Care

Pete concept

PETE - Finalist Electrolux Design Lab 2014

Fashionistas among the Gizmag audience might not agree, but I don't mind the odd polyester shirt because it means I can leave the iron in the closet where it belongs. But for Hungarian designer Kovács Apor, polyester garments could do more than offer wrinkle-free clothing.

Feed discarded plastic bottles into his wall-mounted Pete machine, select a garment type and it converts the bottles into polyester garments. He says this provides a natural recycling method and can turn any consumer into a cutting edge eco-designer.

Pure Towel concept

Pure Towel - Finalist Electrolux Design Lab 2014

If you're living in a family household, hand and body towels tend to get a fair old workout. But the Pure Towel concept from Mexican designer Leobardo Armenta promises to clean your towel while its hanging there, reducing energy costs and time spent washing piles of dirty laundry.

The device forms a ring around the hanging towel, which then casts an ultra-violet light and a high speed fan onto the fabric as it runs up and down its length. This process takes all of around 10 seconds and will help to reduce the spread of allergens and fungi throughout the home.

Glory awaits

"The finalists’ concepts are truly innovative and offer new ideas on how we might be living our lives in the future, whether it’s eating healthier or being more sustainable,” says Lars Erikson, head of Electrolux Design and the Design Lab jury.

Alongside Erikson on the judging panel will be creative adviser at H&M, Margareta van den Bosch and Robin Edman from the Swedish Industrial Design Foundation. Up for grabs in the 2014 competition is €5,000 (around US$6,300) and a paid internship at the Electrolux global design center. Second and third places pay €3,000 (US$3,800) and €2,000 (US$2,500), respectively, while the People's Choice award, determined by online voters, carries a cash prize of €2,000 ($1,300). The presentation and award ceremony will take place in Paris on November 12.

Source: Electrolux

5 comments
zevulon
pretty much all of the ideas are totally and utterly ludicrous. except the towel purifier which has been a long time in coming. ultra fast drying and santized towel tech is a challenge constantly faced by hospitals and gyms. that is something people have worked on before. the question is whether their design is up to snuff or practical in any way. considering the ludicrous nature of every one of the other 'ideas' in that they are not products and not prototypes of anything that will be built looking like the 'idea'---i would just that no, the towel drier is most likely still in total concept stage with on meaningful work done on it.
John Banister
The pure towel device was my favorite, too.
theradarsweep
Again, a vote for the towel device. Such a good idea. Hope they have their patent pending!
Slowburn
If I am going to play with the power of UV light to sanitize a towel like that I want to make sure that no eyes are exposed to the blinding rays. Except for not like wearing polyester I like the bottle recycling.
Bruce H. Anderson
These finalists amount to a gaggle of lameness. The towel thing may have merit, but Slowburn is right about eye protection. And towels will dry better when hung wide, exposing more surface area. Hanging on a hook inhibits both light and air getting to the towel.