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issue: June 2011 ApplianceMagazine.com

Concept Appliances
Design Lab 2011 Top 25 Semi-Finalists

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The 25 semi-finalists for Design Lab 2011 have been announced by Electrolux.

Electrolux has staged the design competition every year for nine years.  The competition is open to design students around the world, who submit their designs for future appliances based a certain theme. This year's theme: Intelligent Mobility.

Electrolux received 1300 entries in 2011 and chose 25 concept appliances to be their finalists.  They come from 14 countries around the world – three each from Australia, New Zealand, and Poland; two each from Canada, the Czech Republic, France, South Korea, and the United States.

Electrolux will narrow the field from 25 to eight finalists in July 2011.  The eight finalists will present their concept appliances to a jury of expert designers, who'll chose the 2011 winners based on the criteria of:
•    intuitive design
•    innovation
•    consumer insight

First prize is a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre and 5,000 Euros. Second prize is 3,000 Euros and third prize is 2,000 Euros.

"The top 25 are to be congratulated on their approach – the combination of lateral thinking and creativity is inspiring," said Henrik Otto, senior vice president of Global Design at Electrolux.

The 25 semi-finalists, Otto said, offer the most interesting solutions for future living and best consider intelligent mobility in the appliance design.  They are presented in random order.

Robo TAP Cleaner

Country: South Korea
Designer: Gyu Ha Choi
School: Handong Global University The Robo TAP adds a new capability to current robotic vacuum cleaners: human guided targeting. An indoor positioning system (IPS) is synchronized to a small remote control attached to the user's shoe. Two show-taps on a dirty spot alerts the Robo TAP to the spot. Two more taps will cancel the summons and three taps tells the robot to go back to its predetermined route.
rob tap cleaner Concept Appliance

EcoWash Dinner Set
EcoWash Dinner Set

Country: New Zealand
Designer: David Stockton
School: Massey University School of Design

The EcoWash is a portable dishwasher requiring no electricity to operate. Place the dirty plates and cutlery into the unit, add water and dishwashing liquid, close it up, and crank the handle. The interior rotates to wash the dishes.  A small hatch on the bottom opens to allow the water to drain. Washed and rinsed dishes can be spun again to spin off most of the moisture using centrifugal force.

EMS Cooker

Country: Czech Republic
Designer team: Simona Hruskova
School: Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague

The EMS Cooker is worn as a wristband to absorb kinetic energy.  The wristband can then be removed and rolled out for use as heating plate or wrapped around a coffee mug to keep food warm or to heat it up.

But can it really generate enough heat to actually cook a small pot of food, as the "Cooking" photo suggests?
Ems cooker

GULL Air Purifier GULL Air Purifier

Country: Poland
Designer: Tomasz Siemek
School: GWSP – Gliwicka Wyzsza Szkola Przedsiebiorczosci

GULL, which clearly takes its design inspiration from birds, is designed to clean the air in a living space using lemon oil. The designer said its removes up to 99.96% of air pollution and bacteria while spreading a light lemon oil aroma.

Kinetic energy is employed here – as in the semi-finalist EMS cooker – to power the unit with a human assist.  Human energy is employed to charge a small battery.  The unit hangs from the ceiling or stands on a surface.

Heat Grenade

Country: New Zealand
Designer: Sam Evans
School: Massey University

The Heat Grenade portable cooking device intended for use in emergencies and powered by paper-thin batteries. The batteries recharge from water absorbed from the air. It's easily stored and carried when closed up, with its sleek, elongated egg profile.  When open, the four sides unfold and it becomes an operational cooker with a black glass surface.  A small control panel slides out from under one of the cooking "petals."

Heat Grenade

Honeycomb Modular Induction Tiles
Honeycomb Modular Induction Tiles

Country: Australia
Designer: Alfred Ching
School: University of New South Wales

The Honeycomb is a modular induction cooker system ideal for compact homes or wherever a hot plate would be useful. The hexagonal modules click together when and where needed, and into whatever configuration fit the user's current need.  It's controlled via a wireless Bluetooth remote.  The modules are stackable, making them easy to store away.

Intelligent Mobility Scale Bag

Country: Czech Republic
Designer: Karel Vránek
School: Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague>

This designer bag is scalable in terms of its size – folding small when empty, and expanding to make room for groceries when shopping.

The bag also is designed with (apparently photovoltaic) scales on its exterior. Sunlight causes the scales on the surface to “bristle.” These scales are intended to "transform solar energy" and use it to cool the inside of the bag, making it ideal for storing and chilling food.

Intelligent Mobility Scale Bag

Marble Mixer 2050 – The Marble

Country: Brazil
Designer: Eduardo Murara Nauiack
School: Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná – PUCPR

It looks to be about the size of a golf ball, but it's a mixer.  Put the ingredients in a bowl, toss in a Marble mixer, and it will automatically bounce around inside the bowl mixing the ingredients.

Rotor blades are made of nanotechnology rubber that "makes them flexible when not in use but hard as steel once in motion." This way they’re safe and easy to clean, but effective when in use. Keeping many of them in a bowl makes a nice design piece in the kitchen.

Mixing time is set with a shake. Shake is a little to add 15 seconds of mixing time; shake it hard to add a minute.

This writer notes that the rubber used in the Marble Mixer would certainly be effective in this application—and in thousands of others. It is unknown if such a material is currently available for product manufacturing.

Mobile Induction Heat Plate

Country: Finland
Designer: Tommi Moilanen,
School: Aalto University School of Art and Design

This smart induction hot plate is intended to be a compact cooking device for those on the go. Put the hot plate wherever you want to cook.  Your smartphone app is the remote control.  The app is also designed to be used with intelligent food packaging, with NFC-tags providing instructions for properly heating the food.  A wooden handle makes it easy to carry and easy to store by hanging it on the wall while recharging the battery.
Mobile Induction Heat Plate

Mobile Kitchen Mobile Kitchen Kit

Country: USA
Designer: Elizabeth Reuter
School: Purdue University

This Mobile Kitchen Kit contains everything needed to cook skillet meals while taking up very little space. The lid is a cutting board.  The container itself can be used as a makeshift sink.  The container stores:
•    fitted, flexible induction cooking pad
•    strainer
•    spatula
•    wooden spoon
•    cutting knife
•    peeling knife
•    sauce pan
•    skillet


Country: Australia
Design Team: Saba Zare
School: University of New South Wales

Mywash is a communal washing machine designed for use with personalized laundry baskets that also serve as washing drums. Operation is performed by simply loading the baskets with laundry and, when ready to wash, placing the basket atop the washer and dryer. The basket will be automatically loaded and the user will be notified, and can then control the wash cycle using a smartphone app from anywhere. The phone application allows the user to chose the wash cycles and options.

Onda Onda Portable Microwave

Country: USA
Designer: Matthew Schwartz
School: California State University Long Beach

The Onda portable microwave oven slides onto the packaging of pre-prepared meals.  As the seal of the packaging is broken, the handheld oven creates a circuit connection. Paper batteries produce the energy needed to cook the food.

Ozel Kinetic Blender

Country: Malaysia
Design Team: Uzair B. Abdul Rashid
School: Universiti Teknologi MARA
Kinetic batteries are contained inside the handle of the Ozel blender, replacing the traditional electrical cord. To recharge the battery, the user removes the handle and shakes it as much as is required.

Inside the blender, traditional rotating blades have been replaced by nylon ropes. which swirl quickly to chop, mix, and blend.

Ping Pong Ping Pong

Country: France
Design Team: Arthur Kenzo
School: École de Design Nantes Atlantique (Shanghai)

Ping Pong is a wireless cooking assistant. The Pings (sensor/transmitters) are attached to a cooking utensil, such as a soup pan, and the user takes the Pong receiver elsewhere in the house to continue another task. The Ping will sends cooking information to the Pong, allowing the user to monitor cooking from another room.

Portable Washing Machine

Country: Slovakia
Designer: Adrian Mankovecky
School: Academy of Fine Arts and Design Bratislava

Four pre-installed cleaning programs are available for quick and easy use garment cleaning by this portable washing machine. The user separates the two components of the device, places one on each side of the garment with a stain or odor, and chooses the suitable cleaning program. The device cleans the spot using negative ions and steam. It is powered with a sugar crystal battery.
Portable Washing Machine

Ribbon Ribbon

Country: Australia
Designer: Enzo Kocak
School: Monash University

The Ribbon is an all-in-one hotplate, warming device, and cooler for portable use. It wraps around a vessel containing food or drink for heating or chilling. The black side provides heat while the white side cools. A rechargeable thermoelectric cell battery can also reverse the charging process– whilst not in use the cells convert excess heat back into electricity.


Country: Poland
Design Team: Jacek Chrzanowski
School: Academy of Fine Art im.W.Strzeminskiego in Lódz

Ringoo is a small circular microwave heater for warm drinks. Any liquid poured through the ring becomes hot.

breeze Breez Portable Dish Dryer

Country: Canada
Designer: Andrew Parsons
School: Humber College

Breez is a portable, easy-to-stow dish dryer that helps the user quickly dry hand-washed plates, avoiding the spread of bacteria and germs that can occur when drying many plates with the same cloth. A digital pulse motor concentrates air to a thin, 400-mph stream that blows the plate dry when it is moved through the machine.

Salvé Bagel Toaster

Country: Canada
Designer: Kent Madden
School: Carleton University

This portable bagel toaster is especially convenient for those who can’t find time to eat breakfast in the morning. Place a bagel in the toaster and it will automatically start rotating until the user feels the bagel is sufficiently toasted. The toaster is energy efficient, running on sugar crystal batteries or recharged on a ceramic dock using induction.
Bagel Toaster

Smoobo Smoobo Blender

Country: New Zealand
Designer: Roseanne de Bruin
School: Massey University

This device is a smoothie-making blender. Users put their favorite ingredients inside the rubber ball, shut it, and start bouncing it around. The bounce activates the motor and spins the blades, powered by kinetically charged batteries. The Smoobo surface is made of uneven rubber knobs to make the bouncing unpredictable and more fun.

Sous-vide Cell cooker

Country: Hungary
Designer: Adam Miklosi
School: University of West Hungary – Institute of Applied Arts

The Sous-vide Cell cooker is inspired by the professional slow cooking trend. The Sous-vide cooks food at pre-determined times and comes with web and smartphone apps to help the user plan a menu. Ingredients are sealed in airtight plastic bags and in water bath for what may be extremely long cooking times (the designer says 72 hours is not an unusual cooking time) and held at temperatures that can be much lower than traditional cooking (around 140 °F).

Take-Away Steward Take-away Steward

Country: China
Designer: Qin Haitao Qin
School: Liaoning University of Technology

The Steward is a food delivery postbox system designed to keep delivered take-away food fresh at your home or work place until you can collect it. An integrated electronic system allows the user to order food and set a password with the delivery company. When the food arrives, the deliverer uses the password and places the food in the postbox. The Steward will automatically hold the food at its optimal temperature. The exterior is a solar panel coated material that powers the unit.


Country: South Korea
Designer: Kim Min Seok
School: Seoul National University of Technology & Science

The Wave washing assistant helps identify the severity of a stain and helps pre-treat the stain. The contamination sensor determine what needs to be done, then the Wave applies ultrasound and water to stains and uses hot air to dry as required. When the Wave is placed in its dock for charging, it can also communicate with the users' washing machine, sharing information in order to achieve the best wash results with the minimum use of water and detergents.

Wamr n Cool Warm & Cool

Country: France
Designer: François Hurtaud
School: École de Design de Nantes

The WarmNCool is designed for the convenient storing and heating of leftovers. Divided in to two sections, the airtight bottom section works like a fridge, keeping leftovers cool. The top section stores the heat generated from the operation of the refrigeration system. On the following day, when the users wants to partake of the leftovers, the containers are switched and thermo-electric batteries act like a microwave to reheat the food.


Country: Poland
Designer: Krzysztof Luchowiec
School: Akademia Sztuk Pieknych w Krakowie

Mohe is a multipurpose appliance serving as a vacuum sealer, food carrier, and food warmer. Food is placed in the special recycled bag and vacuum-sealed in the Mohe.  When the sealed bag is later opened the unit will warm up the contents. The food storage bags have an insulation of a special heat-shielding gel and an outer layer of paper.

The device, which is powered by inductively rechargeable batteries, can recognize if the bag is open or closed and respond accordingly: if the back is unsealed it will seal it; if the back is sealed it will warm the content.
Mohe Multipurpose Appliance


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