Interview with Dulyawat Wongnawa (Teleport Fridge) Electrolux Design Lab finalist

Electrolux Design Lab 2009 finalist Dulyawat Wongnawa is the Thai designer behind Teleport Fridge, the refrigerator that teleports food. He is a student at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

Beam me up… Scottish ham

Dulyawat Wongnawa envisions a time when the technologies found in science fiction become reality, specifically teleportation. His concept, “Teleport Fridge”, teleports food, eliminating the time and distance a person has to travel to buy fresh groceries or products from a store or farm. Using touch-screen technology as the interface for the teleportation process, the Teleport Fridge simply teleports food to compartments in its refrigeration and freezer units.

Watch Teleport Fridge video

What was the inspiration for your concept?

The inspiration came from the movie Star Trek. In the movie, the main characters often get teleported from place to place. It made me eager to explore the possibilities of how this useful technology could be integrated into our daily lives once it becomes available.

How does your concept fit into this year’s competition theme “Designs for the next 90 years”?

Technologies seem to be progressing at an increasingly faster rate nowadays. In the next 90 years, we will see a lot of technologies that today we think are completely impossible. Even though my teleportation concept might sound far-fetched, scientists have already succeeded in teleporting small particles such as photons. So over the next 90 years, this technology will have time to develop and become part of our everyday lives.

What are the main consumer benefits of your concept?

Imagine fresh vegetables or seafood delivered to your fridge within seconds. With Teleport Fridge, consumers won’t need to shop for, and stock up on, groceries every week. This concept eliminates the time people have to spend and distance they will have to travel to get fresh produce for cooking. Moreover, the produce will be much fresher than the produce found in supermarkets and grocery stores.

Describe the consumer research behind your concept.

Nowadays, urban communities in many countries seem to be growing bigger in both size and population. The only access to fresh produce that people in these communities have is from supermarkets or marketplaces in their neighborhood. This fresh produce is mostly transported into the city from other rural communities. Due to the time it takes to transfer this food, it might not be as fresh as it should be. Imagine transporting seafood from a seaside port in Japan to the big cities in Europe, which nowadays takes days or weeks. The quality gradually decreases with time. If these limitations can be eliminated, everyone can have access to high-quality fresh produce from anywhere in the world.

What kind of materials would you use to build your concept?

Just like conventional refrigerators today, the main materials would be a metal sheet for the exterior cabinet and door, and a vacuum-formed plastic sheet for the inner cabinet. But the exterior surface of the fridge will be coated with an ultra-thin layer of smart material, which features both an LCD display and a touch-screen interface for users to interact with. Users can adjust the temperatures for each compartment and order fresh produce to be teleported into the teleport compartment drawer via the smart material display.

Who is your favorite designer?

My favorite designer is Alexander McQueen. He is truly a rebellious artist and a skillful tailor combined in one. I find his work very provocative yet inspirational and hope to develop my own distinctive style, just as he has.

What are your career goals?

I would really like to work in the international design scene, especially in Europe where all the design trends and new technologies emerge. Then, after gaining enough experience, I would start my own business. I haven’t decided what it would be yet, but it definitely will involve branding and design.

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