"Flatshare" Refridgerator Concept Wins 2008 International Electrolux Design Lab Student Competition

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Stefan Buchberger, from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria, has been chosen winner of the Electrolux Design Lab 2008 competition for inventing Flatshare. Flatshare is a modular fridge with individual compartments for people who live with several roommates. The Design Lab 2008 award is a prize of approximately $7,000 and a six-month internship at one of Electrolux global design centers.

Flatshare, a modular fridge with individual compartments for people who live with several roommates, won the Electrolux Design Lab 2008 competition.

A fridge is a tricky thing to reinvent

Stefan Buchberger, from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria, has been chosen winner of the Electrolux Design Lab 2008 competition for inventing Flatshare. Flatshare is a modular fridge with individual compartments for people who live with several roommates.

Flatshare consists of a base station and up to four stackable modules. The modules allow each individual user to have his or her own refrigerator space and can be customized with various colorful skins as well as with add-ons like a bottle opener. Handles mounted on the side make it easy to transport the modules.

College students, grad students and young professionals often share living spaces…and kitchens. With Flatshare, never again will they have to endure another person's moldy cheese or old leftovers.

"I got the idea to create the Flatshare fridge because in many shared flats there is a problem with the refrigerator," says Buchberger. "It gets filthy because no one person feels responsible for cleaning it."

Reinventing the fridge
The jury was impressed by the ingenuity. "A fridge is a tricky thing to reinvent," says Henrik Otto, head of Global Design for Electrolux and chair for the jury. "Flatshare, however, manages to be new in a fun and expressive way. A shared refrigerator is also very relevant from a consumer-insight perspective, managing to resolve the needs and wants of the target group."

"This concept stood out, in color as well as design, and the fact that you could personalize your Flatshare modules added an interesting emotional value," adds Yves Behar, award-winning Swiss designer and fellow juror.

The Design Lab 2008 award is a prize of approximately $7,000 and a six-month internship at one of Electrolux global design centers.

The award for second place went to iBasket by Guopeng Liang from Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

Third place went to Coox by Antoine Lebrun from L'Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique.

The other six finalists were:

Sook, a social networking recipe generator with electronic tongue, by Adam Brodowski, Savannah College of Art and Design, USA.
E-bag, a kinetic energy-powered cooler bag, by Apore Puspoki, Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design, Budapest, Hungary.
Stratosphere, a sanitizing clothes rack/valet, by Atilla Safrani, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, Hungary.
Vesta, a foldaway cooktop with RFID scanner, by Matthias Pinkert, HTW Dresden (FH) University of Applied Sciences, Germany.
Drawer Kitchen, a desk-drawer hotplate and fridge, by Nojae Park, Chiba University, Japan.
Scan Toaster, a USB toaster that prints news, weather and snapshots onto slices of toast, by Sung Bae Chang, Sejong University, South Korea.

The 2008 Electrolux Design Lab, the sixth edition of this annual competition, challenged undergraduate and graduate industrial design students to create home appliances for the Internet generation 2-3 years from now. Entries were to address food storage, cooking, and/or washing.

The competition targeted the upper-age segment of the Internet generation comprising brand-conscious, busy young professionals between 25-35 who are independent, concerned about the environment, and whose lives are intertwined with technology and online social networks. This year, there were more than 600 entries from 49 countries.

For more information on the program, all finalists and to view video and images of the concepts, visit the Electrolux Design Lab Press Room

Electrolux is a global leader in home appliances and appliances for professional use, selling more than 40 million products to customers in 150 countries every year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and professionals. Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and stoves sold under esteemed brands such as Electrolux, AEG-Electrolux, Eureka and Frigidaire. In 2007, Electrolux had sales of $16 billion and 57,000 employees.

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