If you're wondering what kinds of home gadgets we'll be using in the year 2100, here are 8 finalist entries of the Electrolux Design Lab 2009 competition that reflect their designers' futuristic creations. Everything from a robot food-grower for life on Mars to a rain catcher and purifier that flies to your glass to pour your drinking water!
Though Electrolux is 90 years old, its Design Lab, an opportunity for industrial design students to exhibit their design concepts internationally, is in its seventh year. The Design Lab competition has become one of the most popular design shows in London, arguably the world's capitol of design. This year, there were more than 900 entries from students in 50 countries that challenged a prestigious jury to choose just 8 finalists.
Here are the finalist entries, randomly listed, from which one will be selected for the coveted first prize: €5,000and 6 months of paid internship at an Electrolux design center.
Electrolux Design Lab Finalist 1: Teleport Fridge by Dulyawat Wongnawa, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand
As you can imagine by the name 'Teleport Fridge," this is an extremely smart gadget. You will no longer have to enter a grocery store in the year 2100, because you'll be able to order your food from a touch screen in the refrigerator and it will come directly to appropriate compartments in your fridge or freezer. Perhaps it will also be able to identify when food has gone past its prime and gather it together to enter a composter.
Electrolux Design Lab Finalist 2: Water Catcher by Penghao Shan, Zhejiang Sci-tech University, China
This is definitely the cutest gadget of all time. The Water Catchers spring from their launch pad (homing base) to catch raindrops and then they fly back to base with their little butterfly wings so the water can be purified. Once the water is purified, Water Catchers will fly to a person's glass and pour. The Water Catcher base can even read your finger print to make sure that your personal water has the nutrients you need!
Electrolux Design Lab Finalist 3: Bifoliate by Toma Brundzaite, Vilnius Academy of Art, Lithuania
Bifoliate, a wall-mounted double dishwasher designed to minimize strain on your back that you get from placing dirty dishes into the floor-model dishwashers and removing them from the dishwasher to place in cabinets when they are clean. With the dual sided dishwasher, you can keep one section for clean dishes and the other for dirty, so they never do need to go anywhere else! I'm assuming that the Bifoliate is for one or two persons - perfect for apartment dwellers.
Electrolux Design Lab Finalist 4: Moléculaire by Nico Kläber, Köln International School of Design, Germany
If you want consistency in your cuisine, get a CNC machine, the tightly monitored computer tool that creates industrial parts to within the smallest fraction of an inch of perfection. Moléculaire uses the same technology for its 3D molecular food printer. It will prepare the surprises like no human chef knows layering small particles of unique ingredients with its printer creating fantastic tasting and looking meals, without shedding a bead of sweat, again and again to perfection.
Electrolux Design Lab Finalist 5: Cocoon by Rickard Hederstierna, Lund Institute of Technology, Sweden
Cocoon was designed to give the earth a rest while it satisfies man's desire to consume meat and fish. Using genetically engineered and prepackaged entrees, Cocoon identifies the muscle cells through RFID signals in the food, and then suggests a cooking time.
Electrolux Design Lab Finalist 6: Le Petit Prince by Martin Miklica, Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic
Who says we're not prepared for life on Mars? Martin Miklica is. He's designed this fabulous little fella' to roam around Mars looking for nutrients for the plant inside. Le Petit Prince, named after the wise hero of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's children's book, the robotic greenhouse will scope the planet until it finds suitable territory, when it will settle in, wirelessly communicating with its siblings and friends so they can join him. Just like staking out a couple of acres in the wild west.
Electrolux Design Lab Finalist 7: Naturewash by Zhenpeng Li, Zhejiang University, China
Want your clothes smelling like the great outdoors? Wash them with Naturewash, the waterless washing machine that uses negative ions to clean nano-coated fabrics -- of course, that's what we (they) will be wearing. But don't worry if you're already wearing the clothes. You can take a lie down right in your nano-fashions. The Naturewash washing machine doubles as a lounge chair and can clean those threads right on your body, or just freshen them with a grass or flower scent.
Electrolux Design Lab Finalist 8: Renew by Louis Filosa, Purdue University, USA
Blasts of steam clean your clothes as they pass through Renew, but not before this smart gadget figures out exactly how to treat all of the fibers in the garment. Its touch screen will tell all by reading the RFID tag on each garment, and Renew will adjust its cleaning cycle accordingly. It will refuse to clean hands and fingers, so don't worry about scalding one accidentally from the zap of steam. Renew not only conserves space, it is made of recycled material - both the aluminum and the glass!
Here's a brief (4+ minutes) video showing how all of the eight finialists function. It's worth the watch.
Electrolux invites us all to vote for our favorite Electrolux Design Lab '09 concept. The winner of the public vote will be given the People's Choice Award on September 24, 2009 at 100% Design London, along with the jury's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Design Lab Awards.
I'm hoping Electrolux starts production of all eight of the design concepts so we can use them long before Y 2100. How about Y 2010? Aren't these awesome designs?
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