Image via Visit Sweden
A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to jet out to Stockholm for the Electrolux Design Lab 2013 Finals. As Official UK Blogger for the competition I have been closely following each stage and reporting back on the progress. The competition had been narrowed down to 8 finalists who were flown to Stockholm from as far afield as Sao Paulo, Madrid and Singapore, to present their individual concepts in front of the jury and members of the international press. I attended the event with Kasia E Slobodzian-Taylor, one of my readers who won the opportunity to accompany me on the trip via a competition that Electrolux allowed me run here on the blog. We had a great day, it was pretty full on but I thought you might be interested to hear what we got up to who which young designer came out on top.
The event was held at Stockholm’s Fotografiska Museum, a centre for contemporary photography that was opened to the public in 2010. After a super early morning flight from Heathrow and a fleeting stop at our hotel to get changed, we were shipped off to the museum by coach ready to experience the day’s events. The day kicked off with a cookery demonstration by Electrolux Ambassador Chef Håkan Thörnström, who owns a restaurant in Gothenburg. Håkan created a delicious cod dish using the Sous Vide cooking technique and we were all able to sample his creation for lunch. It certainly didn’t disappoint. During the demonstration Håkan explained how sous vide cooking works, and shared some hints, tips and techniques on how to create a slow cooked gastronomical experience.
Once we had all had our fill of delicious sous vide cooked cod it was time to meet the Design Lab 2013 jury, comprising of Electrolux Chief Design Officer Stefano Marzano, Design Strategist at Yanko Design, Hideshi Hamaguchi, and Editor-in-Chief of LOFT Bookazine, Pio Barone Lumaga. We had the opportunity to hear their views regarding design innovation and how to approach the future challenges of urban living.
Following this it was time for the top eight finalists of Electrolux Design Lab 2013 to present their designs with a 10 minute presentation each and a 5 minute question and answer session with the jury. It was really interesting to hear from the individual designers and find out where their inspiration came from and how they developed their initial ideas into the finished concepts that were presented on the day. Some of the designs that I had earlier dismissed actually became more convincing once I had heard the designers explanation and this was something I wasn’t expecting. Unfortunately, due to language barriers, some of the designers weren’t able to communicate their ideas quite as well as I’m sure they would’ve liked and this must have had a detrimental effect on their standing in the competition.
Whilst the jury convened to deliberate all the entries, we had the opportunity to quiz the finalists about the designs during a round table session. This gave us the chance to pose any questions we had that had not been covered by the jury in the earlier presentations. But before long the jury had made their decision and it was time to take our seats to find out who had scooped this year’s top prize of 5,000 euro and a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre.
The first announcement was for the People’s Choice Award. This was for the entry that had received the most votes online from the public. The winner of this award was Adrian Perez Zapata for his concept MAB with an overwhelming majority of votes. This pleased the judges as it reinforced their decision to choose MAB as the overall winner. However, I must say I was a little shocked to see MAB win the competition. MAB is an automated cleaning system consisting of hundreds of flying mini-robots that clean surfaces by touching them with a drop of water. I thought it was a little sci-fi compared to some of the other designs that appeared to be more realistic and achievable.
Second place was awarded to the Atomium 3D food printer, by Luiza Silva from Brazil. Her concept addressed the global issue of adopting healthy lifestyles and countering chronic diseases, and took inspiration from the playfulness and creativity of children. Third prize went to Jeabyun Yeon for Breathing Wall which the jury believed “creates a relevant discussion about a future business model which is not just about making the appliances, but about generating propositions that could bring a poetic quality into the construction industry.”
Following the awards ceremony we were treated to a lovely dinner which was a fantastic way to end the trip. After a long, long day I was very happy to get back to our hotel, the lovely Nobis Hotel, for a well deserved sleep. The next day we had a few hours spare to wander round Stockholm, which was a lovely benefit as I’d never been before. I must say though it’s definitely somewhere I would like to revisit in the future.
To finish off this post take a look a the highlights video below. I hope you have enjoyed my coverage of Design Lab this year as much as I have enjoyed reporting on it.