You know that when a behemoth like Electrolux (“a global leader in household appliances and appliances for professional use”) gets together with a rag-tag outfit like Ahha Project, something exciting must be brewing. Here, I use “rag-tag” in the most complementary sense—that of a small operation fairly bursting with creative thinkers and innovative output. Ahha Project is based in Milan and Seoul, which should give you some sense of the cultural and aesthetic eclecticism at play therein. Just as principals Jinwoo Han and Christian Moser desire, “the team draws strength from the rich, diverse culture and arts that surround them… Industrial design, concept development, user research and interior design are the key areas that Ahha Project excels in.” The Pure Washer/Eco Sink Concept would seem to represent the idealized synergy of these ostensibly divergent disciplines.
Eco Automatic Sink. Designed by Ahha Project for Electrolux.
A Dishwasher and Sink in One
The name Ahha Project is apropos given that one’s initial reaction to Eco Sink is likely to include a self-administered slap to the forehead and no small amount of pseudo-affirmative muttering. It’s one of those ideas that’s so simple it’s brilliant, or so brilliant it’s simple (at least in retrospect). In brief, Ahha Project and Electrolux are embracing the notion of a bottomless sink. That is to say, gone are the familiar ceramic contours whose specialty is drawing water in, and in their place are the familiar rubber-coated wire contours of an automatic dishwasher rack. It’s sort of an “eliminate the middle man notion,” the middle man being, in this case, the inefficient step of piling the dishes in the sink before rinsing and placing in the washer.
With Eco Sink the dishwasher is the sink. So run the tap, clear the dishes and place them directly into the ostensible black hole that leads right to their salvation. When one rack is full, simply rotate it out of the way. The full rack enters wash mode and the empty rack spins on its rotating axis and right into view.
The Pure Washer Concept is smart, savvy, and sustainable, yet it’s not without its detractors. One critic has raised the specter of all the nastiness that bothers a sink in a particular day. Since this list only just begins with raw chicken, pork, and beef, I’d say the Pure Washer needs to consider its options in this regard. Of course, one solution is simply to make it an accessory sink. In this capacity, it would handle the dishes as well as the cleaning and rinsing of benign and basically bacteria-free items like fruits and vegetables, while a larger, dedicated sink would be used for heavier duty. Much in the spirit of Dornbracht’s Water Zones, this would take Pure Washer further down the path of specialization and division of labor, building a more efficient kitchen in the process—and I wouldn’t hold that against Electrolux or Ahha Project in the least.