I've had appliances on my mind, as you know, having recently bought an entire set appliances for my kitchen. Yesterday I shared some of my chat with Thomas Johansson, the Design Director of Electrolux, who talked about how he thinks that the refrigerator is the appliance that needs the most rethinking. Well, take a look at this idea from one of the 2012 Design Lab finalists: is this the fridge of the future?
Wait, you're probably saying — this is a fridge? Well, yes, a prototype of a refrigerator, anyway. It's called "Impress" and it was designed by Ben de la Roche, a student in New Zealand, and a finalist at Electrolux's Design Lab last fall. This was my favorite of all the finalists, partly because of Ben's puckish enthusiasm for his design inspirations and process, and partly because I just want one of these things in my house.
How does it work? It's a customizable refrigeration wall, with customizable, modular sections in honeycomb shapes that can be pushed in and activated by inserting something to be chilled. These can be food containers, a bottle of wine, a bag of apples. "It cools by conduction," explained Ben, "it cools each item individually, by touch."
I asked him what inspired this really unusual fridge concept and he laughed. "It was a toy, you know those pin toys that let you make shapes in them? Yeah, one of those."
Ben was one of the runners-up at the Design Lab final event (that's him there on the left). I met his mom in the audience, as she was carrying a huge sheaf of congratulatory flowers out of the hall. "Well, there's his college tuition paid for next year!" she beamed.
Congratulations Ben, and good luck!
What do you all think of this? Is this radically different idea of a fridge something you could see using in the future? Does it address the issues you have with your refrigerator, or does it lack something you would also want? What, to you, is the fridge of the future?
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(Images: Electrolux; Faith Durand)