Stories & Projects

Exploring ‘the new normal’ in the post Covid-19 era

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Mid-pandemic, Electrolux challenged students at UID to explore new home care solutions for the post Covid-19 era. The concepts developed by students attempts to define a new generation of household appliances, products that could make the future home a more caring space in challenging times.

The 12 students from the Master's Programme in Advanced Product Design (APD) were tasked with responding to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and specifically, to address the needs of the 'new normal'. Quite simply, a quest to explore new home care solutions, in order to support people by creating human centric and sustainable solutions. 

"For this project, we really wanted students to identify the pain points that have emerged as people have been forced to work from home due to lockdowns", says Thomas Degn, Programme Director for the APD Programme. "We also wanted students to look to the needs and wishes from users who have gotten accustomed to and appreciate working from home and who would like to continue doing so. What will this require from their home care solutions and appliances in terms of functionality, connectivity and sustainability? What kind of user experiences could such a scena­rio or solutions offer the consumer and, of course, how could this express itself in a physical form and experience?"

Thomas Johansson, Design Director at Electrolux, believes that the global pandemic has put a spotlight on the home environment and the adaptive measures required to meet new needs. 

"A key part of the work reflects the need to meet adapted behaviour during corona. With more time spent at home, there is an increased focus on the quality, performance and design of household appliances. We are also seeing a greater interest in hygiene and sanitisation. This makes the partnership with the next generation of design talent, working together to find solutions to help people, to enrich life and to shape living for the better, particularly rewarding." 

Thomas Degn stresses the educational value of working on actual problems with actual companies.

"The collaboration with Electrolux is an interesting challenge for the design students. Not only does the experience allow the students to test their skills in solving real life problems but the exposure to the insights that Electrolux have ensures that the concepts are inspiring, practical and desirable. This is what we are preparing all students for at UID - for them to make a meaningful difference in the world."

Fika from Afar - a new social experience 

Designers: Sydney Eilbacher (USA), Jovan Vulic (Serbia), Nathanael Boell (Germany)

Heroshot

In Swedish, 'Fika' is a term for coffee or tea break (usually enjoyed with a cake or bun and in company). 'Fika from Afar' hones in on the shared experience of this ritual and has reimagined It for people working from home or Isolated from friends, family and loved ones.

This concept is all about bringing joy and social moments back to those that miss the interaction of the humble coffee/tea break by utilising modern communication technology.

The coffee maker is connected to an app which, in turn, connects to other users of the app to book not only their time but to share with them different flavours and taste recommendations from the coffee dispenser. It Is an intimate adaptation of video calling into moments of togetherness.

VIKA - home office and wellbeing 

Designers: Mathilda Karlsson (Sweden), Marian Dembkiewicz (Sweden), Arvind Sushil (India)

VIKA OPEN Lampor

VIKA is the air purifier/work-station support unit for the home. Expandable, compactable and available in different sizes, VIKA demarks space, whilst Electrolux air purifying technology helps people get the most from their home environment. Practical solutions include a foldable pinboard that can accommodate notes, prevents distractions and prying eyes. When work time is complete, VIKA can be folded up to symbolically signify the next chapter of the day. 

Muhō - A sanitizer for the hallway 

Designers: Stijn van Cuijk (The Netherlands), Jakob Kohnle, Laurenz Simonis (both Germany) 

2020 Post COVID Home Care Solutions Muho Poster

The team behind Muhō want to enhance the homes reputation as a safe zone, protecting us from the hazards of the outside world. Providing sanitization for both the hands - through liquid disinfectant - and the objects one most interacts with throughout the day (keys, 'phone etc.) through ultraviolet light, Electrolux Muhō helps people to minimize infectious threats.

The attractive wall hung design not only makes the adoption of the sanitisation facilities

easy to Integrate within everyday life but Is enhanced by the mirror and the delivery of data through the glass, such as time temperature and weather updates. 

ELEPSY: Safe cleaning of vegetables and fruit 

Designers: Sinan Altun (Turkey), Yilin Lyu (China), Yuchen Lan (China) 

2020 Post COVID Home Care Solutions Elepsy Poster

ELEPSY is a vegetable and fruit sanitiser, addressing the concerns people might have about the cleanness of such food when bought home or delivered from the shops - even after washing it under water. In their research the design team found that some people even use soap or chemicals to disinfect such food, an act that is potentially hazardous as well as consuming unnecessary amounts of water.

Designed as a kitchen-household item, ELEPSY aims to solve these problems by giving people the opportunity to disinfect, cleanse and dry fruits and vegetables. Additionally, the produce can be served directly from the attractive detachable plate. The functional design is complemented by a contemporary aesthetic so that it can be enjoyed as an object in itself, as well as enabling people to feel safer in their daily lives.