Electrolux Design Lab is a competition hosted by Electrolux, a Swedish company located in Stockholm, Sweden. It is a well-known international competition that encourages professionals and student designers to showcase their invention. This great event is accepting participants around the world and it is conducted annually with a themed concept that will serve as a starting guide. Each team will be given a specific timeframe. Each year, their innovative design will define in a way the household of the future, thus promoting innovation, creativity, and efficiency.
Last year’s recently concluded Design Lab 2015 theme was “Healthy Happy Kids”. 2 years ago, the famed contest theme is all about “Creating Healthy Homes”. 2014 had a healthy competition of 35 teams that represent their respective countries. 2015 was even tighter. Irrespective, the results were similar: from a total of 35 participating teams, only six teams outperformed the rest.
The grand winner will receive 10,000 Euros and a six-month internship opportunity at Electrolux headquarters. The 1st runner up will receive 6,000 Euros and the last prize will be 4,000 Euros. Lastly, a special award called “People’s Choice” will generously offer 2,000 Euros.
Previous Electrolux Design Lab themed competitions
According to official sources, the company started this competition in 2003, with a handful of participants. Eventually, it gained its momentum of success because of the increasing numbers of participants accepting the challenge and gearing up into the fray. The host company made the event more exciting and challenging for young and old inventors, making the event a competitive way to look for new assets for the company. Here are the past themes:
- 2003 – User Driven Solutions
- 2004 – Designs of the Future
- 2005 – Designs of the Future
- 2006 – Designs for Healthy Eating
- 2007 – Green Designs
- 2008 – The Internet Generation
- 2009 – Design for the Next 90 Years
- 2010 – The 2nd Space Age
- 2011 – Intelligent Mobility
- 2012 – Experience Design
- 2013 – Inspired Urban Living
- 2014 – Creating Healthy Homes
- 2015 – Healthy Happy Kids
2015’s theme was focused on the areas of air purification, fabric care and cooking. Lee Fain, the Innovation Manager of Electrolux Design Lab says he liked the theme very much, particularly because of the concept of linking fields such as education and entertainment with practical aspects of life. As expected, this competition also gave the company a chance to discover new designers and designs that will hopefully boost their sales. Some people call this “disruptive idea fishing”. And with such a low budget, we can’t help wondering why other big companies don’t try the same. I.e. Dyson does it, it’s called the James Dyson Award. Google also does it, at another scale, with the Google Science fair. The actual effort put in this kind of contests is low, and the benefits for these companies are high, on the long term.
The 2015 winners
The 2015 grand winner is Jordan Lee Martin (UK). He came up with the “Bloom” project, proposing a futuristic yet efficient kettle. Made especially for children, this device helps them understand hands-on food preparation with an amusing, fun way of completing the task. The “Bloom” pod recycles steam, which is used to i.e. purify air, sterilize products and amazingly, cook. Wouldn’t be great to own such an interesting multipurpose kettle?
And if you’re worrying about safety, don’t, as “Bloom” has a built-in child-friendly system. The kettle has a specially designed lid to inhibit any hot water or stream hitting your child (or you, for that matter). The steam will instead pass through a special vent system, going to the pods. As expected, Jordan won the 10,000 € and was paid a 6-month internship at the company’s design center.
The other 2015’s 5 finalists are:
Air Shield – a baby stroller designed for parents worried about air pollution. The stroller has its own filters and comes with a feature to purify air coming from the adjacent environment. It has a special glass that protects the baby from polluted air and harmful UV rays coming from the sun. The stroller also uses a microphone which allows parents to communicate directly with the baby, without opening the glass cover. The concept focuses on avoiding the risks of compromising the health of the baby. Dominykas Budinas (Lithuania), the creator, found the inspiration of this design from its own car. Air Shield is designed by from Lithuania.
Quadruple H – the Health, Happiness, Hologram and Hula-hoop concept got the third place. Its designer is Jeongbin Seo (South Korea). This machine is an air purifier and a hula hoop at the same time. Q.H will clean the air through the hoop’s bottom side air vent. Another good feature of this machine is a hologram function that can generate images and can be projected to a wall-mounted wireless charging system.
Voris will be the loveliest robot for your kids. This amazing product can teach your kids the importance of taking care of their clothes. This will be a good asset for parents as their kids will be trained to be responsible individuals taking good care of, not just their clothes, but all of their things as well. The remarkable bot is Designed by Martha Fabiola García Bustos from Mexico. Your kids will definitely love this robot because of its liking to an imaginary creature, a creature that keeps clothes away from getting dirty. The design is like a spherical object on wheels which is propelled by air. The ultraviolet light can clean the clothes and it has an air circulation feature that keeps your children clothes’ smelling good and fresh like newly washed.
Future Classroom is a concept made possible by Tobias Tsamisis (Germany) which is a piece of kitchen furniture addressing the educational perception of the kids. This concept will help connect younger generations with the idea of sustainability. Basically, the future classroom is a kitchen where students will learn how to grow vegetables and fruits using an system called “Aquaponics.” A part of the unit is a water pump that will control the circulation of water between the aquarium and a bed of plants. Another interesting part of the classroom is the cooking area that has its own sink and cooking stoves and surprisingly, the “Future Classroom” can be towed when a change of location is needed or when not in use. An advanced interactive touchscreen menu will control the two parts.
Plato is a robotic solution that can stimulate the creativity. A Russian designer, Mary Piyuga, created an innovate concept inspired by the Platonic Solids. This product offers a projector, can become a nanny and can even UV sterilize pacifiers and bottles. But the perks don’t stop here. The product will also offer a water filtration system, an orthopedic mattress and can be easily set to supervise your baby using the built-in camera. Now that’s what I call functionality. The futuristic design is appealing, considering the latest Star Wars just rolled out a few weeks ago.
Lastly, the People’s Choice award went to Larissa Andrade (Brazil). She designed a two-part textile and color repairing system called the Weaver, which can do a variety of stuff such as scanning and photo capturing. Her design can patch-up any type of fabric and increase the longevity of your clothing. The unit its rather small and can be held with only one hand, yet it can handle impressive tasks. Although meant for child use, the concept is rather futuristic, involving advanced video processing and technology not yet available to the general market (nanorobots).
Any thoughts of the projects showcased in last year’s Design Lab competition? Any expectations for the upcoming contest? Sound your comments below.