Worldwide appliance giant Electrolux has chosen 10 student-designed concepts to present to a four-person jury of professionals at the company’s annual design competition in Milan, Italy, on October 25.
“As we celebrate the tenth year anniversary of Electrolux Design Lab, we wanted to give the students a brief that challenged them to create holistic sensorial experiences,” Henrik Otto, the company’s senior vice president of global design, said in a release announcing the finalists. “The ten concepts that have reached the Design Lab 2012 finals are an overview of the kind of creative design thinking that surprises and challenges us and creates discussion about the future.”
Launched in 2002, the Electrolux Design Lab is an annual global design competition open to undergraduate and graduate industrial design students who are invited to present innovative ideas for household appliances of the future. This year the winner will receive 5,000 euros and a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design center. In addition, the jury will select second- and third-place winners, who will receive 3,000 euros and 2,000 euros, respectively.
The company received more than 1,200 entries this year. Electrolux challenged students to draw inspiration from professional experience creators (chefs, architects, interior designers, hotel designers, etc.) to design home appliances that will provide a fuller sensory experience, the company says. It might be through state of the art technology or through a clever blend of textures and surfaces.
“I believe the importance of our sensory perception is underestimated in a lot of today’s design,” Otto says. “Too much importance is accorded to the visual. What if we could incorporate our other senses into design? Could we smell who is calling? Or feel what’s on TV?”
The concepts and design themes push the boundaries of what most people might consider practical applications, and they probably will never be available for purchase by consumers. Still, the company says the competition may provide inspiration for future home appliances and solutions, and is a good way to discover new talent.
To see the 10 finalists, check out the slideshow.
Nigel F. Maynard is a senior editor at Builder.