Interview with Toma Brundzaite (Bifoliate) Electrolux Design Lab finalist

Watch Bifoliate video

Electrolux Design Lab 2009 finalist Toma Brundzaite is the Lithuanian designer behind “Bifoliate”, the wall-mounted double dishwasher. She is a student at Vilnius Academy of Art in Lithuania.

Washing dishes is double the fun

Putting away clean dishes from the dishwasher is often a tedious job. That’s why Toma Brundzaite has designed “Bifoliate”, the space-saving, wall-mounted double dishwasher that allows the user to put dirty dishes in one compartment and use the other as a shelf for clean dishes. The dishwasher uses ultrasonic wave technology to clean making it more efficient and eco-friendly than today’s dishwashers.

What was the inspiration for your concept?
My inspiration was nature. Right from the start, I wanted my concept not only to be good-looking, but also to have some functional features as well. It had to be as natural and intuitive as possible. On the other hand, it had to be functional and practical. Those features are usually found in nature—and that’s why usually I look for inspiration there. This time it was a three-leafed clover. Bifoliate consists of two shelves and one door.

How does your concept fit into this year’s competition theme “Designs for the next 90 years”?
In the next 90 years, all household appliances should become more intuitive to use, easier to understand, and better integrated into our surroundings. Now people are using machines as tools to help them in the kitchen, but after 90 years, they will have forgotten the problems with dishwashing. I see my concept as a move in that direction. Also, this concept is very environmentally friendly. Environmental issues are a huge problem now, and they will be even more of a problem in the future.

What are the main consumer benefits of your concept?
Bifoliate is designed for people of all ages, from young couples to the elderly. Its advantage: you don’t have to bend down to take out the dishes like you do with today’s dishwashers. When the dishes are being washed on one shelf, you can use the clean ones from the other shelf. Plus, you don’t need to use any chemicals at all. It’s very economical and practical, and its user-friendly interface is easy to understand and easy to handle.

Describe the consumer research behind your concept.
The concept is targeted for a family that eats several times a day. After each meal, they just put the dishes on the shelf, close the door, and leave all the conflicts about dish washing aside.

What kind of materials would you use to build your concept?
I expect that in the next 90 years there will be new materials to choose from. As of today, a combination of light metals and plastic seems to be a reasonable choice. The dish holders can be made from tough rubber. The outer side of the sliding door should be a touch-sensitive surface. Controls should become illuminated once the door is touched. As the door position changes, the Electrolux logo should change its location as well.

Who is your favorite designer?
I admire a number of young designers from Lithuania and try to follow their work closely. I’m also interested in Scandinavian designers who incorporate their nation’s culture into their work. I’m interested in both industrial and interior design.

What are your career goals?
I can’t imagine my career without industrial design. I have always been interested in objects, forms, functionality and new technology. In the future, I would like to make people happy through the elements of their surroundings.

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