Electrolux challenged industrial design students at UID to think about post Covid-19 home solutions. Four concepts to make the home a caring space in challenging times.
Electrolux challenged 12 students enrolled in the master’s program in Advanced Product Design at Umeå Institute of Design (UID) to respond to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and specifically, to address the needs of the ‘new normal’. Four unique concepts consider home care solutions, supporting people with human centric and sustainable solutions.
“Enhancing home experiences is embedded in our DNA” says Thomas Johansson, Design Director, Electrolux. “A key part of the work reflects the need to meet adapted behaviour during corona. With more time spent at home, there is an increased focus on the quality, performance and design of household appliances. We are also seeing a greater interest in hygiene and sanitization. This makes the partnership with the next generation of design talent, working together to find solutions to help people, to enrich life and to shape living for the better, particularly rewarding.”
“The collaboration with Electrolux is an interesting challenge for the design students, says Thomas Degn, Programme Director MFA Advanced Product Design, UID. “Not only does the experience allow the students to test their skills in solving real life problems but the exposure to the insights that Electrolux have ensures that the concepts are inspiring, practical and desirable. This is what we are preparing all students for at UID – for them to make a meaningful difference in the world.”
Fika from Afar – a new social experience
Designers: Sydney Eilbacher (USA), Jovan Vulic (Serbia), Nathanael Boell (Germany)
In Swedish, ‘Fika’ is a term for coffee or tea break (usually enjoyed with a cake or bun and in company). ‘Fika from Afar’ hones in on the shared experience of this ritual and has reimagined It for people working from home or Isolated from friends, family and loved ones.
This concept is all about bringing joy and social moments back to those that miss the interaction of the humble coffee/tea break by utilising modern communication technology.
The coffee maker is connected to an app which, in turn, connects to other users of the app to book not only their time but to share with them different flavours and taste recommendations from the coffee dispenser. It Is an intimate adaptation of video calling into moments of togetherness.
VIKA – home office and wellbeing
Designers: Mathilda Karlsson (Sweden), Marian Dembkiewicz (Sweden), Arvind Sushil (India)
VIKA is the air purifier/work-station support unit for the home. Expandable, compactable and available in different sizes, VIKA demarks space, whilst Electrolux air purifying technology helps people get the most from their home environment. Practical solutions include a foldable pinboard that can accommodate notes, prevents distractions and prying eyes. When work time is complete, VIKA can be folded up to symbolically signify the next chapter of the day.
Muhō – A sanitizer for the hallway
Designers: Stijn van Cuijk (The Netherlands), Jakob Kohnle, Laurenz Simonis (both Germany)
The team behind Muhō want to enhance the homes reputation as a safe zone, protecting us from the hazards of the outside world. Providing sanitization for both the hands – through liquid disinfectant – and the objects one most interacts with throughout the day (keys, ‘phone etc.) through ultraviolet light, Electrolux Muhō helps people to minimize infectious threats.
The attractive wall hung design not only makes the adoption of the sanitization facilities easy to Integrate within everyday life but Is enhanced by the mirror and the delivery of data through the glass, such as time temperature and weather updates.
ELEPSY: Safe cleaning of vegetables and fruit
Designers: Sinan Altun (Turkey), Yilin Lyu (China), Yuchen Lan (China)
ELEPSY is a vegetable and fruit sanitizer, addressing the concerns people might have about the cleanness of such food when bought home or delivered from the shops – even after washing it under water. In their research the design team found that some people even use soap or chemicals to disinfect such food, an act that is potentially hazardous as well as consuming unnecessary amounts of water.
Designed as a kitchen-household item, ELEPSY aims to solve these problems by giving people the opportunity to disinfect, cleanse and dry fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the produce can be served directly from the attractive detachable plate. The functional design is complemented by a contemporary aesthetic so that it can be enjoyed as an object in itself, as well as enabling people to feel safer in their daily lives.