Photo courtesy electrolux design lab

Kitchen hackers, gadget freaks and geeks of the world, rejoice! The future of kitchens is here!

Kind of!

A few


Electrolux Design Lab 2010: The Future Is Here, Now Hand Me My Goo

Photo courtesy electrolux design lab

Kitchen hackers, gadget freaks and geeks of the world, rejoice! The future of kitchens is here!

Kind of!

A few days ago, I wrote an extended post about the Seven Food Technologies I Wish Existed Right Now. And while I have to assume that this is completely unrelated, today the good folks over at the Electrolux Design Lab have responded with the announcement of the finalists for their 2010 design contest. What's that? You've never heard of the Electrolux Design Lab contest? Well, here's the basics, straight from the contest brief:

"Electrolux Design Lab 2010 invites global undergraduate and graduate industrial design students to create home appliances that consider shrinking domestic spaces. Your ideas will shape how people prepare and store food, wash clothes, and do dishes in the homes of 2050 when 74% of the world's population are predicted to live in an urban environment. Growing populations living in concentrated areas dictate a need for greater space efficiency. This year, special consideration will be given to designers that submit a design within the context of a range or suite of solutions/appliances. Your design ideas should address key consumer requirements; being green, adaptive to time and space, and allowing for individualization."

And while that may sound a tab bit dull and dry, I can guarantee that this year's students came through with some designs that will just blow your friggin' mind. We're talking refrigerators filled with goo, closets that wash clothes for you, magical shelving units that cook dinner and air condition the house. It's some pretty heady stuff. And now all you have to do is click through the jump to start checking out videos from the eight finalists describing their visions for the future of food, cooking, laundry and design.

Oh, and if you're feeling frisky, Electrolux is also allowing normal civilians to vote on their favorite of the eight final designs (which will be judged by the experts on September 23 during the 100% Design event in London). So if one of these gadgets really moves you, you know what to do...

The "External Refrigerator" from Nicholas Hubert.

I like the look of the thing, but something tells me his design is a bit too small to handle the amount of take-out boxes I regularly have in my fridge.

The "Dismount Washer" from Lichen Guo.

I can't really see any situation where I'd need to be carrying my laundry down the street like a briefcase. And even if that situation did arise, I'm not sure I'd like the public to see my Batman Underoos sloshing around like that.

A "Bio-Robot Refrigerator" from Yuriy Dmitriev.

That is simply some of the weirdest-ass shit I have ever seen. And I want one right now.

Also, what do you think would happen if you put, say, a cat in that goo?

Just thinking outside the box is all...

An "Eco Cleaner" from Ahi Andy Mohsen.

So wait a minute... This thing only works with food pills? Well then who's inventing the food pills? And if everyone is eating food pills, what kind of waste are we talking about putting in that little gadget?

"Clean Closet" by Michael Edenius

Again, like the goo refrigerator above, I want one of these things in my house now. I don't know if my collection of blue jeans and old tee-shirts is really worthy of such a high-tech doo-dad, but with it, I could finally turn my laundry room into a secret lair for planning my assault on the Olive Garden corporate headquarters.

And also like the goo refrigerator, I wonder what would happen if I put a cat inside it...

"Kitchen Elements" by Matthew Gilbride.

I'm not really sure how "wireless technology" would allow this shelf to act as both heating element, air conditioner and lighting unit, but I sure hope someone does, because this thing is just straight up Blade Runner cool and looks like more fun than a sack full of monkeys and liquor.

"The Snail" from Peter Alwin.

Dude... That was just awesome. Thus far, these guys have done away with my stovetop, my washer, my dryer and my fridge. What's next?

"Kitchen Hideaway" from Daniel Dobrogorsky.

Seriously? A virtual Reality cooking helmet? That one is a bit too Max Headroom for me. I mean, if you have to think through all the steps of cooking a meal, why not just, you know... Just cook it.

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