It’s been a while since my last Electrolux Design Lab update but things have moved on quite considerably since then and the competition is hotting up. There were over 1700 entries in total and in May, 100 of the best entries from 29 countries were posted on the Electrolux Design Lab website and the public were invited to vote for their favourite concepts. In the top 100 were six innovative and exciting appliances concepts by UK design students who were hoping to go through to the next stage and compete for the main prize of 5,000 Euros and a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre.
Of the six UK designs that made the top 100 my personal favourite was without a doubt the Smart Floor concept designed by student Svetozar Belogrozdev who is currently in his first year of a Product Design (Bsc Degree) at Swansea Metropolitan University. The reason why I chose this particular concept is because hoovering is one of my least favourite housework tasks, that and changing the bedding, oh and cooking, washing up and laundry…oh ok I admit, I’m no domestic goddess!! But Svetozar’s concept is one that I would really welcome at home.
The Smart Floor is a hygienic self-cleaning floor solution that prevents dust and dirt from settling. Regulated vacuum cycles through the floor 24 hours a day and intelligent pressure sensors detect if there is anything in the room and automatically regulate the vacuum going through the tiles. A great idea right? Well I thought so. I was so intrigued in fact that I wanted to find out more about Svetozar’s concept and luckily he agreed to answer some questions for me.
How did you first get involved with Electrolux Design Lab?
It was a one-week exercise aT uni where the teachers basically set us a deadline from Monday to Friday to design something under the Electrolux design brief. It was basically done to get the first year of product design and the second year of product design to get to know each other a little bit more so we share ideas better. At the end of the week, the lecturers went around and marked individually the students’ work from the 1st and 2nd year. My work was in 3rd place. I didn’t even know it was a competition until the lecturer asked me to send my work to the Electrolux Design Lab. So I did that and thought nothing of it, but then when I got chosen for the top 100, I was ecstatic, it really helped me boost my work moral and escalated the quality of my work to a better level throughout the year.
Where did you get the idea for your concept?
It was actually looking at some of the mesh designs on the grills of cars, and then I looked at some of the apple tower computers and that really inspired me to experiment with perforated materials. I get inspired really easily and I come up with lots of nutty and grand ideas. You may find this funny but I have this deal with my mother that I hoover the house every week and she pays my phone contract for the month, but I absolutely hate it. Its mundane and boring. And that’s when it clicked, I asked myself “what if the floor could clean itself?” I decided to stick with the idea and design it.
What kind of research did you do for your entry?
For research, I normally look on the web as it is both time saving and quick. The library was a reliable source of information that I needed to help me design the technical aspect of my product.
Can you tell us about the design that you entered?
The Smart-floor is a “set and forget,” product which provides a hygienic self-cleaning floor solution. It is an intelligent flooring system that never lets dust and dirt settle down. Regulated vacuum cycles through the floor 24 hours a day ensuring dust levels are kept to a minimum leaving the urban space clean and the air fresh. Intelligent pressure sensors detect if there is anything in the room and automatically regulate the vacuum going through the tiles.
What would it mean to you to go further in the competition?
I’m really thankful for the opportunity that I have and that I have been chosen for the next top 50 out of many outstanding designs out there. Being a 1st year in product design, I’m only just getting to grips with all the software, it’s all new to me, and to compete with some really talented and much more experienced designers out in the competition is a real honour. It has really boosted my confidence in design. I have given my last submission 100% of my effort and if it goes through I will be overjoyed. If it doesn’t, I will still be happy that I made it this far and still be thankful for the growth in confidence the competition has given me.
Svetozar’s concept was one of two UK designs that made it through to the Top 50. Sadly,though no UK designers have made it through to the Top 20 and that means that Svetozar’s entry has not progressed any further. But stay tuned for my next post when I will round up some of my personal favourites that have made it into the Top 20 Semi-Finalists.