Going solo! Students design for single, compact living

For the fifth year running, Electrolux has collaborated with students from the Umeå Institute of Design (UID) to develop product ideas for the home of the future.

With more people living alone today than at any point in recorded history,* the majority in small urban apartments, demand for goods such as small appliances, flatpack furniture and foldable items is rising. That’s why the students this year were challenged to develop progressive premium product ideas for single people living in small spaces. The 14 students from the Master’s program in Advanced Product Design created concepts for so-called singletons living a micro-home lifestyle in four major cities – Hong Kong, Munich, Mumbai and New York.

“These students challenge conventional assumptions,” says Thomas Johansson, Design Director at Electrolux. “They envision the future and create concepts that harness the essence of our brand in a captivating way. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for Electrolux to reach the best emerging talent.”

The product ideas:

  • HumiTex: a slim dehumidifier that hangs in a closet to ensure optimal conditions for clothing, with premium materials and connectivity to signal when it needs to be emptied. Designed for space-conscious singletons in humid Hong Kong. By Ellis Walker, Jinying Cheng, Mattias Nordin and Thilo Fiebig.
  • Adapted: a premium hub that uses the kitchen’s vertical space to organize small kitchen appliances either as a piece of furniture or wall-mounted. The modules are connected in an app. Designed for busy singletons in Munich looking to reduce visual and mental clutter. By Joel Sjödin, Corinna Diestel, and Silvester Kössler
  • Jodana: an ecosystem of cooktops that adapt to the user’s circumstances. Can be stored vertically and combined with others in a modular system when cooking for more than one. Connectivity enables couples to cook together while apart. Designed for the singleton in bustling Mumbai. By Luisa Ebeling, Indalecio Gaytan, Niklas Muhs, and Yash Saboo.
  • Sensea: offers a ritual-like and sensory drinking experience. AI-based ,the device becomes a nudging companion, using physical data readout to gauge needs, habits and moods to prepare suitable morning, midday and evening herbal blends. Designed for singletons in New York City who seek calm, comfort, and wellbeing. By Gerardo Soler, Nina Långström, and Niklas Andreasen.

“The students came up with a diverse series of new product concepts addressing known and new needs again this year,” says Thomas Degn, Associate Professor and Director of the MFA Advanced Product Design Program at UID. “By teaming up with the experienced design team from Electrolux, we get access to world class design support and feedback that not only motivates and supports our students in the specific design challenge, but also helps prepare them for their future careers in design.”

Previous collaborations with UID included designs for multi-generational homes (2021), the “new normal” post-COVID world (2020) and a wellbeing experience for someone living in an apartment of 35 m2 in Milan in 2025 (2019).