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Design Makes a Difference: The Future

Establish a few years back, Electrolux Design Lab hosts an annual design competition open to student designers around the globe, and every year since 2003, the appliance manufacturer’s contest has generated some really interesting, forward-looking, greener-thinking designs. This year, for its fifth installment, the competition’s theme is sustainability; students are invited to design household products that go beyond efficient use of materials and resources; the objects should encourage the users themselves to adopt more sustainable behaviors.

That’s really the key — adopting sustainable behaviors. At TreeHugger, we talk a lot about moving from knowing to doing, and it’s a tough, tough step. When our devices and our appliances start helping us do that — without us having to think about it — we know we’re getting somewhere.
“Design is at the heart of the Electrolux brand,” says Henrik Otto, Senior Vice President of Global Design. “I’m excited that this year’s competition will bring us some innovative sustainability ideas. And who knows? What’s impossible to manufacture today might be possible in 2020.”

The top 8 finalists have been announced for the 2007 competition; among them, a solar cooker, water-saving shower, automatic food composter and solar-powered air filter; they are:
Return Pot: a plastic decomposer that turns bags made of bioplastic into compost, by Juan Ying-Hao from Cranbrook Academy of Art, US (pictured above, left)

Fog Shower: water-saving shower that uses less than a gallon of water for a five minute shower, by João Diego Schimansky from Pontificia Universidade Católica do Paraná, Brazil (pictured above, right)

Pebble: solar food cooker that uses spray-on solar cells and induction heat for quick, efficient cooking by Laura Pandelle from École Boulle, France (pictured below, right)

e-Wash: natural detergent washing machine that uses soap nuts instead of conventional detergent by Levente Szabó from Moholy-Nagy University of Art & Design, Hungary

Pure: dual kitchen sink and detergent-free compact dishwasher by Tatjana Voronova from Hochschule für Gestaltung Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany

NatureWind: eco-solar air cleaner by Bae Won-Ho from Dong-A University, South Korea (pictured below, left)

Circompo: automatic food composter that createsby Thanat Tengamnuay from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, Thailand (pictured below, left)

Go Fresh: energy-saving fridge with individual, honeycomb-shaped compartments by He Cheng Fei from Jiangnan University, China (pictured below, right)

The finalists are being announced as you read this, in Paris; keep your eyes locked on TreeHugger for the results!