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Electrolux Design Lab 2010: Is a Sugar-Powered Portable Stove in Your Future?

12/29/2010 12:00:00 AM


Electrolux Design Lab, an annual global competition that invites industrial design students to present innovative ideas for household appliances of the future, has announced the results of its 2010 contest, which centered around “Intelligent Mobility.” Electrolux directed contestants to design household appliances that “will shape how people prepare and store food, clean and do their dishes, both within and beyond the home. … Additionally, and in keeping with the heritage of Electrolux, your concepts should reflect Scandinavian Design values—being sensitive to the environment, providing intuitive ease of use and aesthetic appeal.” The winners are nothing short of inspiring.

Some of my favorites include a BioRobot refrigerator that uses non-sticky, odorless gel to envelop stored food in individual pods; an outdoor refrigerator that uses winter’s lower temperature and solar panels in summer to keep food cool; a wall-mounted “eco-system” that creates energy from plants; and BioTank, a pet and a composter that also does the dishes (robotic fish clean the dishes, then turn the dirt and grime into biofuel).


The 2010 winner is a stove that uses a high-density sugar crystal battery to heat food using magnetic induction. Called the Snail, the portable heating device can be stuck directly onto a pot, a pan or a mug to heat the contents. Energy from the sugar heats up a coil, which conducts the magnetic induction process to the utensil. “In addition to being a solution for city dwellers, the Snail offers a wider social potential for use in remote areas, just as the first mobile phone opened opportunities,” the Electrolux Design Lab jury stated in presenting the award to Peter Alwin, a student at National Institute of Design in India.

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