Meet George Jetson... The year is 2050. It's estimated that 74% of the world's population will live in an urban environment by then. What would it be like to live in a household of the future? What would people need to prepare and to store food, to do dishes and to wash their clothes?
Electrolux Design Lab 2010 competition is for industrial design students who want to create new solutions and appliances that consider shrinking spaces. Eight finalists will be chosen from the 25 innovative semi-finalists. Here are 12 of the most trippy, futuristic and otherwise awesome design concepts.
Bio Tank, Robotic ‘FishWasher’, Akifusa Nakazawa, Japan
The Bio Tank is a dishwasher, composter and pet in one. Plates go into the ‘dish tank’ so that robotic fish can clean plates and dirty objects. The fish ‘eat’ the plate clean before turning what they eat in to bio fuel. The robotic fish also use filters to clean the water so it won't need replaced. Do-it-all little robotic pet fish? Now that's a pet most parents would allow their child to adopt.
Freedge – the Inside-Out Fridge, Matthew McNaughton, Australia
The Freedge brings innovation to an appliance that has seen little modification since its first inception. This design concept maximizes the spatial capacity of a home by placing the bulky storage compartment of the fridge beyond an exterior wall, until it is actually needed. Then the drawer can be pulled open to access the fridge. This requires less energy, using the external cold during the winter to help keep the food chilled.
The Kitchen Hideaway, Daniel Dobrogorsky, Australia
The Kitchen Hideaway is a virtual reality concept that allows the people of a communal building to imagine being in a kitchen, preparing a particular meal rather than having to actually do this for themselves. Cool, huh? Put on the helmet and think of cooking. The thoughts of the user are transmitted to robotic chefs within the building who then prepare the visualized meal in a real kitchen and with real ingredients. This headset replaces the need for kitchen appliances in individual dwellings, saving space through creative thinking.
MESO, Bogdan, Ionita, Romania – Food Injection!
This one is totally trippy. "Honey, what's for dinner?" The answer is nothing, nada, just stick your arm inside MESO. The MESO is a food supplement injection device that removes the need for cooking, food preparation and any associated cleaning. It injects nutrients found in food directly into the blood stream from different capsules. The device also carries out blood samples to determine what the best nutritional elements are required by the person receiving the ‘meal’.
Instinct Vacuum Cleaner, Berty Bhuruth, Australia – the Sheep-like Cleaner
The sheep-like robot is a bit like having a pet that cleans up after you! This robotic vacuum cleaner concept is a response to a future where people will have less time and less space to store things, making efficient cleaning a problem. The Instinct Vacuum cleaner, a robotic, four-legged device will adapt to its environment, allowing it to clean in even the messiest of places. It will choose the path of least cleaning resistance by consulting 3D models of the room it creates before tackling its task.
Community Fridge, Pedro Sanin Perez, Colombia
The ‘Community Fridge’ minimizes space by acting as a grocery storage and ordering facility. It was designed for use in communal buildings where each resident will be assigned a space within the fridge to store their groceries. Too lazy to walk down for it? Then order a snack or refreshment through a wall-mounted digital interface and it will zip right to you from a dedicated delivery shaft.
Elements Modular Kitchen, Mathew Gilbride, USA – All-In-One Kitchen Shelving
The modular, wall-mounted appliance provides flexible modes of cooking, refrigeration, air conditioning, lighting and environmental design while reducing space. It's an all-in-one appliance that draws power wirelessly through ‘powermat’ technology applied to the wall. Power is supplemented through solar energy as required. The multiple surfaces automatically work together through wireless smart networking.
Preserved Egg Sweep Robot, Kai Dung, China – Robotic Cleaning
Automated cleaning comes disguised as four little egg-shaped robots. They are each the size of a tennis ball, so hopefully your dog doesn't decide they are toys. They will clean your living space while you are away or while you relax. The robots are charged at a base station where they empty the dust and debris they have collected from your home. This means no more manual cleaning – freeing up time and space.
GAIA, Ankit Kumar, India – Wall-Mounted Air Purification
The GAIA Root concept is a self sustaining, wall-mounted ‘personal ecosystem’ that creates energy from a living wall of plants. GAIA provides air circulation, air purification and temperature control abilities. It adds a personal touch of green while purifying the air. Mounted on the wall, it requires a minimum of space.
Qumi, Ilia Vostrov, Russia – Flexible Cooking Unit
Qumi is a fold-out universal kitchen set that only takes up as much space as a dinner plate when it's folded for storage. It can be used to heat, fry and steam a wide variety of food types (including liquids such as soup or sauces). It is designed to be hung on an induction charging hook, making it wireless and portable. The concept features no display or control panel, rather all instructions are processed via mobile devices in the network-ready home of the future.
Clean Closet, Michael Edenius, Sweden – All in One Laundry Concept
The Clean Closet is essentially a closet that washes clothes. Textiles are scanned for impurities and cleaned accordingly with molecular technology that removes dirt and odors. The concept replaces the laundry basket, the washing machine and the dryer to save space. It uses no water in the process and is therefore kinder to the environment.
Bio Robot Refrigerator, Yuriy Dmitriev, Russia – Cool, Green, Food Preservation
Four times smaller than a conventional refrigerator, the Bio Robot cools biopolymer gel through luminescence. Rather than shelves, the non sticky, odorless gel morphs around products to create a separate pod that suspends items for easy access. Without doors or drawers, items are kept individually at their optimal temperature by bio robots. The fridge is adaptable, coming in different sizes and dimensions. It can be hung vertically, horizontally and even on the ceiling.
For more information, visit the official Electrolux Design Lab 2010 homepage.