And the winner is…


I’m always in awe of the students who enter the Electrolux Design Lab. Now in its eleventh year, this groundbreaking competition reached its final conclusion last week when the winner was announced.

The concept is to invite students from around the world to present breakthrough ideas for future household environments. This year’s theme was Inspired Urban Living – with the angle that living areas are smaller with less storage, but our homes still need to be the centre of entertaining and culinary enjoyment.

Three categories – social cooking, natural air and effortless cleaning – received over 1700 submissions from over 60 countries, which were eventually whittled down to the final eight…

1) 3F by Germain Verbrackel, France

1) 3F Vacuum Cleaner

3F by Germain Verbrackel, France

This vacuum cleaner can change form and expand to suit the task required. The inspiration came from ballet dancing – while at work it resembles a skirt, floating gracefully over your floor. Efficient and smart, it can be used in compact or wide mode.

2) Breathing Wall by Jeabyun Yeon, Korea

2) Breathing Wall

Breathing Wall by Jeabyun Yeon, Korea

An integrated air cleaning concept for people who live in urban areas but want fresh country air at home. Inspired by the gills of a fish, the movement replicates a fish breathing and can be customised to suit your needs through six functions – weather, memory, reaction, breathing, mood and general settings using a smart device app.

3) Nutrima by Janne Palovuori, Finland

3) Nutrima

Nutrima by Janne Palovuori, Finland

A portable appliance that calculates the nutritional values and freshness of your food. It’s supported by an app, which maps your experiences and offers nutritional tips to help you eat more healthily.

4) OZ-1 by Wei Kiat, Singapore

4) OZ-1

OZ-1 by Wei Kiat, Singapore

OZ-1 is a portable air purifier and stress reliever integrated into a fashion piece. You can personalise the device with different covers to match your clothing while the secondary function emits an aromatherapy scent to relieve stress and tension.

5) Kitchen Hub by Francisco Barboza Grasa, Turin

5) Kitchen Hub

Kitchen Hub by Francisco Barboza Grasa, Turin

Designed to help families eat better and reduce food waste, this device has a food stock app, which controls information on the ingredients you have at home and stores the individual diets of each family member to help with food shopping.

6) Mab by Adrian Perez Zapata, Colombia

6) Mab

Mab by Adrian Perez Zapata, Colombia

An automated cleaning system comprising hundreds of flying mini-robots that can clean all types of surface, Mab will scan and clean the house, paying extra attention to dirty areas, trapping dirt particles to ensure best results.

7) Global Chef by Dawid Dawod, Sweden

7) Global Chef

Global Chef by Dawid Dawod, Sweden

Bringing people together from across the world, this kitchen appliance uses laser hologram technology to help you cook with your loved ones or even take cooking lessons from the world’s finest chefs. A motion detection camera will project holograms 360˚ around itself to create a fully interactive experience.

8) Atomium by Lucia Silva, Brazil

Atomium by Lucia Silva, Brazil

Atomium by Lucia Silva, Brazil

A 3D printer that uses molecular ingredients to construct food layer by layer, helping children to prepare their own food in a fun and interactive way. They can draw the shape of the food they would like to eat, show it to the appliance, which then detects this information and prints food in the desired shape, as well as choosing molecular ingredients to construct nutritional balance for the body.

So which one’s your favourite?

For me, each one has its own innovations and advantages and it’s incredible to think of the imaginations behind them. There can only be one winner of course, which is…. the Mab flying mini-robot system. You’ll never look at your vacuum in the same way again!

You can watch all eight concepts come to life in animation at:

Hayley Gilbert is a freelance interiors writer for consumer magazines and Sunday supplements. Twitter: @HaylGilbert

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About Hayley Gilbert

Hayley Gilbert is a freelance interiors journalist with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Specialising in all things kitchens, Hayley has contributed to a wide range of consumer titles such as Beautiful Kitchens, EKBB, KBB, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and Ideal Home, as well as national newspapers including The Sunday Times.... @HaylGilbert /

  Email:  Hayley Gilbert


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