At the kitchen fair Eurocucina 2010 in Milan, Electrolux has presented the Shine washing machine concepts, with one freestanding and one wall mounted version. The free standing version of Shine can be integrated underneath the bathroom sink, while the wall mounted version integrates nicely with bathroom cupboards.
By 2050 around 74% of the world’s population is expected to live in an urban environment. With these shrinking spaces and 39% of Europeans having their washing machine in the bathroom, new smarter solutions need to be found. Hence the Electrolux Design Team in Porcia, Italy came up with the Shine concept appliances. Based upon Electrolux design values of simplicity and purity, these products seemlesly integrate with the rest of the bathroom.
“We wanted to make the appliance look more like bathroom furniture than just a washing machine,” says Levente Szabo, main designer behind the Shine concepts and winner of Electrolux Design Lab 2007. ”The forms and high gloss finishing increase the link to the porcelain and ceramics of the bathroom environment.”
The importance of light
When developing the concepts, the Electrolux Design team thoroughly studied the bathroom environment and developed new designs linked to materials, colors, lighting and ambiance.
“The bathroom has become more of a relaxation room than just a bathroom,” explains Calum Armstrong, Industrial Design Manager Fabric Care. “It helps create a therapeutic atmosphere, like one can see coming from the Japanese culture.”
Around the doors of the Shine concepts there are integrated light guides that function both as ambient lighting and the product’s interface. The light ring around the door will visually communicate both the cycle time and the phase of the washing process. Once the washing cycle is started, the ring around the door will start to light up in a clockwise manner, reaching completion at the same time as the washing cycle is completed.
“This does not only create nice ambient lighting, but it also creates a more emotional connection to the washing cycle,” continues Calum.
Functionality according to the washed items
As true Scandinavian design, the Shine concepts are sleekly designed, yet functional at the same time. The small display above the door has a smaller selection of programs, depending on the type of items placed in the washing machine.
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