Appliances are often seen first and foremost as convenience devices.
But forward-thinking student designers believe new household appliances could actively contribute to a healthier lifestyle in the future - an important benefit, considering that obesity is one of the great public health challenges of the 21st century.
Electrolux put young design students to the challenge of creating appliances that foster better health in the fourth edition of the Electrolux Design Lab, and today, the winner of the design challenge was announced at the Design Lab final competition in Barcelona, Spain.
Metin Kaplan, a student from Turkey, designed what the jury found to be the most innovative product – an appliance to take healthy meals on the go. Metin Kaplan is 21 and is an industrial design student at Istanbul Technical University. Kaplan capitalized on the idea that people would take healthy meals with them if they could find a way to keep warm food warm and cold food cold. He created a mobile food carrier that keeps food at the desired temperature until it's time to be eaten. This, figured Kaplan, will promote healthy eating and reduce the need for fast-food restaurants.
A Concept Appliance Named Nevale
Kaplan's concept, which he calls Nevale, is based on the shape of an antique food container named "sefertas," which is a type of layered food container used in Middle Eastern countries for centuries to carry homemade food.
Kaplan's product is also built in layers, with a hood featuring a digital control screen, and it holds up to four different hot and/or cold meals. The digital display provides information on the food's storage conditions and can be programmed to launch an automated re-heating process at a specific time (for example, at lunchtime).
Alternatively, for cold foods, Nevale maintains an ideal preservation temperature. Each layer works independently, ensuring both hot and cold food items can be transported together.
Hundreds of other design students from 37 countries around the world entered this year's competition in March and were challenged to seek solutions that promote healthy eating habits for the 2016 consumer.
A Well-Designed, Well-Executed Concept Appliance
"Metin Kaplan's concept product is both historically and globally relevant and would promote a healthier lifestyle," said a statement from the judges of the competition. "It is a reinvented and modernized concept that easily could be used all around the world because of its simplicity that recognizes people's eating habits. Kaplan is also awarded because of a well-executed project. His design process is absolutely thorough with a complete research background. The product uses form, colors and technique in a new and creative way."
"The concept not only solves a problem, but it also promotes a healthier lifestyle," says Henrik Otto, head of Electrolux design. "That became very apparent as we were looking at the whole design of the concept. The winning concept makes it easy to make healthy decisions that are good for you. I was also stunned by the fact that there is a link between the winning concept and the second and third place winners."
The jury awarded second place to Brian Chuan Chai Law (National University of Singapore, Singapore) for his concept that uses vacuum cooking in a new inventive way.
Third place went to Eduardo Altamirano Segovia (Universidad La Salle, Mexico) for his portable cook-top that uses renewable energy.
Jury members judged the final selections based on their design and innovation, while taking functional, aesthetical and emotional aspects into account. Members of the jury included:
- The Campana Brothers: Fernando (lawyer) and Humberto (architect) Campana (Brazil)
- Tetsuya Wakuda (Japan), Japanese-born internationally renowned chef
- Constance Adams (U.S.), NASA Space Architect
- Henrik Otto (Sweden), Head of Electrolux Global Design
to Daily News