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Design Lab finalist Roseanne de Bruin puts the fun in health food

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Roseanne de Bruin, 20, is a design student at New Zealand's Massey University and the designer of the Smoobo Blender.The Smoobo Blender utilises kinetic batteries to power-mix your smoothies with bouncy funThe Smoobo Blender utilises kinetic batteries to power-mix your smoothies with bouncy fun

Shaping the future by making her ideas a physical reality is what drives 20-year-old Roseanne de Bruin’s passion for product design.  Despite having people dismiss her as a “petty art student” and telling her to change her degree course, the design student from New Zealand’s Massey University remains undeterred.

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Roseanne de Bruin, 20, is a design student at New Zealand’s Massey University and the designer of the Smoobo Blender.

“Innovation to me is not just using new technologies and applying them in new ways,” said Roseanne. “It is about using your creativity to find or create a design solution for problems we encounter in our everyday lives.”

Her belief in herself and her designs manifested in a dogged persistence to go the extra mile with her designs, and allowed her to ignore the negativity. Today, that belief has paid off. Her Smoobo Blender design is one of eight finalists’ concepts in the Electrolux Design Lab 2011 competition.

Roseanne counts among her favourite works, the Egg Chair by Arne Jacobson, artist Alex Pardee’s thehug1 and lazyface2 as well as Apple products by Jonathan Ive. Music, in addition to these designers, inspires her creative process, helping her build her thoughts into sketches.

We catch up with Roseanne to glean more insights into her Design Lab finalist entry.

How did you come up with the Smoobo?

My goal from the beginning was to create something fun and inspiring. I was on my break at work, sitting in the park drinking a thick shake I just bought from the local dairy. A kid, around 7 years old, runs into the playground, basketball in hand. He was so happy! His eyes lit up as he bounced the ball to his father.

The thought came to me, wouldn’t it be cool if there were a way to get children to be more enthusiastic about healthy eating? Wouldn’t it be even better if this idea also encouraged the kids to help their parents with preparing food?

That’s when it hit me… A blender in a bouncy ball!

I see the Smoobo as a means of exercise and encouragement for healthy eating. It promotes fun and nutrition and rewards you for using it.

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The Smoobo Blender utilises kinetic batteries to power-mix your smoothies with bouncy fun

Who or what was your biggest influence in creating your product?

Gummi bears, a rubbery-textured brightly coloured confectionary, were the  influence of the shape and tactile look of my design. I thought a kitchen appliance that looks like a desirable treat, would make you want to use it. The thought behind this thinking was that instead of eating a bag of candy, perhaps you will see Smoobo and think, ‘Yum! I’m going to  make me a smoothie!’

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The Smoobo Blender utilises kinetic batteries to power-mix your smoothies with bouncy fun

What’s your design philosophy or process?

As I’m still a young undergraduate student, I’ve yet to discover a set process to follow every time I design a product. Currently I’m trying out many paths to see which one works best for me.

I do however know that I want my products to have meaning. Through my designs I would love to inspire others. I want to do this by giving them products that not only have a touch of fun and make life more enjoyable, but will also contribute to our society in some small way. If I can make products in my lifetime that will help people do this, I’ll  be happy.

I also believe that as designers, we’re responsible for designing products that won’t damage our planet in the long run. A career goal I do have is to always make sure I’m doing my best to keep any of my products from leaving a large footprint on our beautiful earth.

What is your dream design project?

I’ve always wanted to paint and modify the exterior of a van! Probably a Volkswagen Transporter. I think this would be so much fun. I’d like to paint and tweak it with my friends and then drive it around the New Zealand coast line.

Which is your favourite Electrolux product?

I absolutely love the Ergorapido from Electrolux. I remember testing it in a shop on a trip to the mall one day. I expressed how much I liked it to my mom.

About a year later, I came home to a glowing light in the hallway. Low and behold it’s that same vacuum! I was so excited I vacuumed the whole house! It’s my favourite colour too. Purple of course.

The Electrolux Design Lab 2011 finals will be held in London in September.

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