Several Electrolux and AEG-Electrolux products as well as Electrolux Design Lab concept products are showcased in 12 pages of Taschen’s “Product Design in the Sustainable Era” book, that was released last week.
Under the section ‘Home & Appliances’ within the publication ‘Product Design in the Sustainable Era’, Electrolux – with the exception of one product – is the only other household name to appear. In the main and throughout all sections of the book, the products and concepts are mainly from independent design houses although companies like Nokia, Dell and IBM also appear. Electrolux not only has a variety of concepts and products (12 in total) but also provides the foreword addressing sustainable design issues.
“We want consumers to know that ‘Thinking of you’ doesn’t stop at their front doors; we’re thinking of the world around them, too. The sum of the equation is creatively designed products that stimulate impact-aware living. Our approach reflects a product life-cycle – addressing the impacts of manufacturing, product use, recycling, and reuse of material. Most important of all is the use-phase, because close to 80% of a product’s environmental impact occurs when it is in operation,” writes Henrik Sundström, Head of Sustainability at Electrolux, in the book’s foreword.
Showcasing innovative “green” projects
The 440-page publication showcases over 180 innovative and award-winning environmentally friendly projects from companies like IBM, IDEO and New Deal Design. In addition to resource-smart featured products from Electrolux – including the Award Winning AEG-Electrolux Super Eco washing machine (saves up to 83% energy) and the AEG-Electrolux Heat Pump tumble dryer (40% more efficient than an A rated tumble dryer) – seven concepts from previous Electrolux Design Lab finalists are also featured, underpinning the great opportunities open to those industrial design students that enter the annual competition.
“Electrolux was a natural choice for inclusion,” says Julius Wiedemann, Editor at Taschen. “Not only does Electrolux offer green products but they show their commitment to the environment by having a dedicated sustainability team in place. This combination is synonymous with the increasing desire of consumers to seek elegant, efficient, low-impact products that look towards a sustainable future.”
Consumers stay eco-friendly despite the downturn
The book shows that consumers are increasingly sensitive and concerned about sustainability despite the economic downturn. According to a Cone Consumer Survey (February 2009), 44 percent of consumers say their “green” buying habits remain unchanged despite the current economy. One-third of consumers say they are even more likely to buy green today than they were previously. Designers, in turn, are responding with elegant, efficient, low-impact products that match these needs.
The company’s stated mission has been to publish innovative, beautifully designed art books at popular prices. The Icons series, for example, has several new volumes published a year, and retailing for about $10 are inexpensive for published collections of art. Another popular series is their ‘Basic Art’ series, which has around 50 volumes, each about a separate artist, ranging from artists such as Michelangelo to more contemporary artists such as Norman Rockwell. In the same style as ‘Basic Art’, Taschen also publish a ‘Basic Architecture’ series that covers some of the most prominent architects in history, such as Frank Lloyd Wright.
Taschen has published the second most expensive book in publishing history, the $12,500, 75 pound, 700 page GOAT (Greatest of All Time) a tribute to the American boxer Muhammad Ali which Der Spiegel called “the biggest, heaviest, most radiant thing ever printed in the history of civilization”. Taschen has also published the $1500 Helmut Newton retrospective Sumo and a $2500 limited edition Araki volume. Taschen also has a number of its own iconic stores across the USA and Europe.
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