Electrolux’s Bifoliate Dishwasher Incites A+D Debate

Sometimes good design is hypothetical. This is largely the case with the Design Lab 2009 finalists. Sponsored by Electrolux, the competition asked for entries that looked forward 90 years into the future (since Electrolux has been in business 90 years). The results were innovative, to say the least, including the downright zany: “some pretty far-out ideas like robotic kitchen assistants, teleport fridges, kitchen units with holographic technology, 3D food printers, and greenhouses that walk on Mars.”

Bifoliate Dishwasher. Designed by Electrolux.

The problem has been that many of the 25 finalists competing for first place do not have designs grounded in science—in other words, they’re ideas not capable of being translated into prototypes (at least not using today’s physics). And this has really gotten lots of designers—many of whom entered the competition with executable products—hot under the collar! The winner will be chosen from a group of eight finalists on September 24, 2009 at 100% Design London, the UK’s premier A+D event. Let’s hope there isn’t an uprising of angry (but practical) designers!



One of the 25 finalists, the Bifoliate Dishwasher has already earned a good bit of buzz, even though there is limited information on the design or the designer. Here’s what we know: this clever, space-saving, wall-mounted dual dishwasher “allows the user to put dirty dishes in one compartment and use the other as a shelf for clean dishes.” But how does it work? The simple answer is we don’t know. As an entry in Electrolux’s Design Lab 2009, Bifoliate comes with limited information (but snazzy renderings). What we also know: designer Brundzaite hails from the Vinius Academy of Art in Lithuania. The last of what we know: the dishwasher should be more efficient and eco-friendly than current dishwashers on the market because it’s meant to use ultrasonic wave technology to clean the dishes. One thing is for sure. Brundzaite’s idea answers a real need: many people unload dishwashers only when they have no choice—because they need to reload. With a dual-action dishwasher, one side can be dirty while the other is clean. It’s such a neat concept—close the door on the dirty or mid-loaded side to hide the culinary carnage—that it makes procrastination null and void. And the design is great too, with its sleek symmetry and central hub. It’s sure to satisfy everyone’s need for balance.

There’s a lot of debate about how Bifoliate works on Yanko, as well as other design websites. And there’s a lot of spirited argumentation on the Design Lab 2009 page, including responses from official Electrolux representatives. We’re sort of curious here about how you’d ring in on this subject: should A+D design competitions require that products be feasible? Does Electrolux encourage implausible designs to avoid research and development spending? Are futuristic design competitions freeing, meant only to get those creative juices flowing?

Via Yanko Design

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