Electrolux Design Lab 2007


“So listen to me you boys and girls,
If design is your thing,
And you’ve got some zing,
Then take a fling it’d be no bee sting

Don’t matter if you’re name is Ling, Singh or Bling,
Or if you’re a left wing or a right wing
This challenge’s still awaiting.”

Don’t blame me if you didn’t like the little (cheesy?) “rap” above – it aint from me, it’s from Electrolux’s official Youtube video to promote their Design Lab 2007. It does seem like they’ve taken an entirely different tack in promoting this year’s design competition, what with the whimsical promotion video that is a clear attempt to engage and get closer to the target audience – young design students.

If you’re the serious type, here’s the beef:

For this 5th year of the Electrolux Design Lab competition they are seeking submissions for household appliances that are environmentally sound, commercially-viable and enable people to better live in harmony with the environment. The goal is to get the applicants to go above and beyond simple energy and water efficiency and suggest ways to foster sustainable behavior and product usage.
Electrolux Design Lab, over the previous years, has attracted thousands of applicants from over 80 countries and some of those concepts submitted are now actually in the early stages of development. The grand prize is 5,000 Euros and a six-month internship at one of Electrolux’s design centers. This year the gala dinner and award ceremony will take place at the end of November in Paris!

I particularly liked the brief this year – “to go above and beyond simple energy and water efficiency and suggest ways to foster sustainable behavior and product usage”. Green is a definite priority on everybody’s agenda these few years, rising in status as an “afterthought” to a conscious choice of conscience. And that sentence in particular I think captured the attitude very well. It’s no longer enough to be more efficient, save a little here and there. Green has become an attitude to be identified with, and to market with – the attitude towards environmental protection is shifting from a passive “damage-reduction” mode to an active lifestyle preference for many.

I’d definitely anticipate seeing concepts that go beyond simple, mechanical means to reduce consumption, but more to influence our conscious behaviour, which is all the more difficult for a white-goods company like Electrolux whose core offerings are still very much rooted in the consumption of water and electricity currently.

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