- Electrolux Stand Mixer
Electrolux Design Lab 2012
- Design can be characterized as a specific design approach, which generates products that stimulate the human mind and the senses through visual, audible, and tactile factors. Human beings have a large number of senses. The standard list of the five best-known senses does not give a human body credit for all the amazing things it can do. In addition, we might consider other senses like pain, temperature, kinesthetic sense, balance and acceleration.
The Electrolux group is a global player in household appliances. The company tries to focus on innovations that are “thoughtfully designed, based on consumer insights”. For a company like Electrolux investments in innovative products is becoming more and more important for maintaining a solid position as one of the market leaders in home appliances. The Electrolux Design Lab competition - which celebrates its 10th anniversary - gives the company a refreshing sight on future product opportunities, provided by students all around the world. Many concepts that have been presented over the last ten years are used as inspiration, and transformed into marketable products that are currently sold under the Electrolux brand.
- On the market for kitchen appliances, the Electrolux group sells cookers, induction hobs, ovens, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and hoods. Cookers and induction hobs currently keep the most profitable position, these are technically advanced products and easy to adapt to the consumers wishes and demands. Striving for simplicity in cooking, Electrolux develops minimalistic and sober appliances that excel in intuitiveness. Although consumers in mature markets do request for meals that are easy to prepare, advanced leisure, garment cooking and local products characterize current trends in home cooking. Together with the arising awareness on health and well-being, consumer behavior with regard to kitchen habits are changing and offer great opportunities for new and innovative product development.
- Cooking means something different for everyone, whether it’s for comfort, family or health. But in our fast changing society, cooking and preparing food are regarded as a time-consuming activity. This stand mixer concept provides an innovative solution in which the consumer is no longer tied to just the kitchen. Mixing and cooking from behind the computer or couch through a small handheld device. This device, normally placed on top of the mixer, can simply be taken from the kitchen, and is able to display cooking progress using a small camera and a display transmitting through Wi-Fi. Time, temperature and speed settings can be adjusted using simple slide gestures. Manual stirring would be possible as well. The sensory experience, which is essential in home cooking, will be realized by using a smart surface developed by MIT, and is able to alter the surface texture and temperature.
- How to tap through the menus? Just tap anywhere you want on its smart surface. As discussed above, making changes can be done by sweeping around. This has to be done within a limited amount of time, after tapping once. When a user wants to activate manual stirring in instead of the automatic mode, tap twice quickly. By doing this, the screen will change in colour, and sweeping around means moving the beater around through the food. Further explanation will follow.
- Saving energy is an important goal, because a large percentage of the electricity in the world is still generated using non renewable resources like natural gas and petroleum. This concept provides several energy-saving solutions that contribute to a better environment. First of all, every stand mixer on the market uses different speed settings for mixing, but any of them provides an easy stand-by setting that can be activated from anywhere in the home. Especially with cooking, stirring is only necessary once in a while. A continuous process can be considered as a spill of energy, sometimes even unwanted when fresh products must remain intact in order to keep their bite. Thereby, its integrated induction hob is more energy- efficient and responsive than other electrical heating sources. The double- walled bowl will retain more heat due to the nonconductive layer of air, which ensures warm food for a longer period of time and therefore a lower energy consumption.
- Tapping the designated icon on top of the device will access its camera function. When tapping this spot, the camera will be turned on and a small LED-light will illuminate the camera icon. The camera image is projected behind the information on the screen. This way, each setting is still visible and controllable as well. When tapping the camera icon a second time, the camera will go back to standby.
- The fingertips contain some of the densest areas of nerve endings on the body; they are the richest source of tactile feedback. Besides a changing surface texture, surface temperature can change as well. Only a small difference in temperature compared to the ambient temperature is required to inform the user on the current status using a fingertips.
- The beaters as well as the bowl are designed in such a way that the top can lift without the need to release the beaters first. Although this concept only presents one kind of beater, final products should be equipped with a whole range of different beaters, each of them with a different purpose. The bowl is designed as high as possible,
primarily to prevent food from splashing. The camera has a direct position above the contents of the bowl. By the rapid turning circle of the mix beater and the slower turning circle of the mounting part, the entire bowl will be clearly visible.
- With regard to color choosing, white is the most commonly used color in interior design, especially in areas where bathing, cleaning and food preparation are prevalent. This is due to the fact that you can see anything that appears on white and wipe it up, keeping the surfaces clean and germ free. It raises a clean feeling among consumers.
- Besides a white version, the designer wants to introduce a black version as well. Black is often regarded as a hue-less colour. This is due to the fact that black does not emit or reflect light in any part of the visible colour spectrum. In interiors, black is somewhat conservative but goes well with almost any other colour except the extremely dark ones. In many regions, black is considered as stylish, mysterious, sexy, elegant or powerful. Today, the combination of black and white is often used in contemporary, modern kitchens, accentuating the most beautiful elements while creating an elegant touch. So, black should definitely not be considered as extremely boring, like many people do.