Electrolux Design Lab 2009 finalist Louis Filosa is the American designer behind Renew, the smart steamer. He is a student at Purdue University in the United States.
Steam cleaning coming to a wall near you
“Renew” is a smart steamer that refreshes and cleans clothes. With two steam blades, Renew “blasts” garments clean. An infrared scanner and RFID (radio frequency identification) gather information about a garment from specifically designed clothing tags. Renew is safe to use and disables the steamer if an unidentified object is detected, such as a hand. An OLED touch screen allows the user to interact with Renew and learn about their clothing. At 25% the size of a current washing machine, Renew conserves space and is made of recycled aluminum and glass.
What was the inspiration for your concept?
My concept was inspired by speed. People are becoming increasingly impatient with today’s laundry machines. My aim is to eliminate the need for patience.
How does your concept fit into this year’s competition theme “Designs for the next 90 years”?
Renew takes advantage of current technology and adapts to future technology. When thinking about the future, you can’t ignore the present. Renew takes up less space, takes less time, and less energy, all of which there will be less of in the future.
What are the main consumer benefits of your concept?
Renew is simple, quick and smart. These three things are what most consumers look for in household appliances. Your garment is cleaned by simply swiping it through Renew. My concept shortens the consumer’s “laundry day” to a “laundry second”. Also, technology brings the consumer closer to their clothing and their style. It gives them a chance to educate, reflect and save time.
Describe the consumer research behind your concept.
My research communicated the idea that consumers are often troubled with the time it takes to do laundry. There are quite a few steps to laundry if you include separating colors, loading the machine, transferring clothes to the dryer, ironing and folding. Doing laundry doesn’t foster a relationship between the consumer and the product right now, and that’s what I aim to do.
What kind of materials would you use to build your concept?
Renew, in an ideal sense, would consist of recycled aluminum, recycled glass, an OLED touch screen, and corn plastic.
Who is your favorite designer?
Raymond Loewy is my favorite designer. His style was authentic and the range of projects he worked on is remarkable. The successes of his projects and their places in history only reinforce his exceptional talent.
What are your career goals?
As a designer, I want to question. I crave to embark on a new journey with each project and challenge the reasoning behind current solutions. I wish to summon completely new ideas while improving life. I don’t want to be focused on one type of design, but rather keep an open invite to anything that crosses my path. For now, I aim to build upon my experiences, but eventually I would like to start a small creative agency based on the previously mentioned ideas.
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