How design students envision better living across generations

Increasingly, young adults, children and the elderly are coming together under one roof. Electrolux challenged design students at the Umeå Institute of Design (UID) to develop new consumer experiences that empower and enable everyone.

Twelve students in the Master’s program in Advanced Product Design at the renowned UID in the north of Sweden rose to the challenge, called “Under One Roof”. What did they come up with for the future home? From flavored water to a clothes refresher, a three-in-one cleaner to a high-tech hoodie, the innovations appeal to young and old alike.

Collaborating with young people on the home of the future is essential for Electrolux, says Thomas Johansson, Design Director at Electrolux.

“Enhancing home experiences is in our DNA. A key part of that is understanding the sociocultural shifts that impact human behavior now and in the future. Working with the next generation of talented designers is rewarding for that reason. Together we find solutions to help people and enrich their lives.”

This is the fourth year of the Electrolux-UID collaboration. This year the students represented seven countries: Germany, France, Austria, Sweden, India, China and the Netherlands.

Thomas Degn, Associate Professor and Director of the MFA Advanced Product Design Program at UID says:

“Electrolux is a great partner to work with. Not only do they present the creative kind of challenge that really prepares our students for careers in product design, but the support and guidance they offer is really appreciated by all.”

The product ideas:

ELUXIR, a sleek water infuser that uses ultrasound to maximize the extraction of fruit flavor to the water with anything from oranges to cucumber to ginger, and can carbonate as well. Meeting rising demand for sugar-free flavored water, this appliance will help people avoid buying bottled drinks and encourage people of all generations to drink more water.

Student team: Emile Chuffart, Felix Wildberger, Adrian Heymann 

SOFTCARE, a steamer to refresh, rather than wash, clothes. The steam refresher doubles as a table that can be placed in bedrooms, so there’s less need to carry clothing around the house and wash large loads, minimizing work and distributing responsibility across generations.

Student team: Erik Ivarson, Valerie Feiertag, Chinmay Bhogaonkar  

TRIO, a vacuum cleaner that works as a robot, a handheld or a stick cleaner. The robot is convenient for working parents. Kids might use the handheld to clean their play spaces. Grandparents or others with mobility issues can easily connect the stick to the robot and use the cleaner manually.

Student team: Oscar Olsson, Nils Achenbach, Yue Zhao

NORA, a noise-canceling hoodie that anyone can wear in order to have privacy while living with many family members.

Student team: Yuan Hong, Heinrich Zaunschirm, Niels van Gils