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APAC finalists take two out of three top spots at the Electrolux Design Lab 2011 finals


First place winner Adrian Mankovecký’s Portable Spot Cleaner took the top spot at the Electrolux Design Lab 2011 finals, netting the Slovakian a six-month paid internship at the Electrolux Design Center in Stockholm and 5,000euros.Second placed Enzo Kocak's Ribbon is a handy heating and cooling device that allows users to heat or cool their food and drink on the goal, winning the Australian 3,000euros for prototyping future projects Second runner-up Roseanne de Bruin's Smoobo Blender is a fun kinetically powered blender. The New Zealander walks away with 2,000euros, which will go towards her school fees.

It was a tough contest that started in January this year. In the end, three designs stood out from the last round of eight finalists to take home the top honours at the Electrolux Design Lab (EDL) 2011 finals.

The winning entry out of 1,300 designs submitted worldwide for the contest was Slovakian design student Adrian Mankovecký’s Portable Spot Cleaner. Designers from Asia Pacific were also well represented at this year’s competition, with 10 making it to the top 25 semi-finals and three in the last round of eight.  Eventually, Australian Enzo Kocak’s portable heating device, Ribbon, and New Zealander Roseanne de Bruin’s fun kinetic Smoobo blender took home second and third place respectively.




In its ninth year, the competition’s theme in 2011 was ‘Intelligent Mobility’. Participants had to create home appliances that could be used at home and on the move.

Based on this brief, Mankovecký came up with the mobile stain remover while studying at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. Running on sugar crystal batteries, the device refreshes clothing and removes stains with negative ions and steam.

This handy invention impressed a jury of award-winning architects and designers at the EDL finals, held at the Room Home Intelligence Conference in the Business Design Centre in London on 7 September.

Said the jury, “The portable spot cleaner is built on solid consumer insights and is highly relevant. It is an instant laundry device that has a positive impact on the environment by reducing consumption and its usage and interaction are very intuitive. We all want one.”

For his efforts, Mankovecký won a six month internship at the Electrolux Design Centre in Stockholm and 5,000Euros. Kocak and de Bruin both went home with prize money of 3,000Euros and 2,000Euros respectively. In addition, the People’s Choice Award, which was conducted via online voting, went to the Onda Portable Microwave by American Matthew Schwartz after over 17,000 votes had been counted.

Of the Ribbon, the jury said, “The Ribbon shows incredible simplicity in form and application and its usage is highly intuitive. The concept is very familiar and easy to recognize yet different enough to be truly innovative”.

Sharing his thoughts on the final round of judging, Kocak said, “The finals have been an incredible experience and it was amazing to see all the publicity generated by each concept. While it was nerve-wracking presenting and trying to answer all the tough questions asked by the jury, hearing their feedback on my concept was one of the highlights of the event for me.”

The quirky and fun Smoobo blender received its share of accolades from the jury, “The Smoobo blender is a very refreshing concept. Especially with its social aspect, it expands much beyond today’s usage of home appliances”.

Commenting on her experience at the finals, de Bruin said, “Although extremely nervous, it was really fun and knowledgeable to hear speakers from Electrolux and of course, to see my new friends presenting their concepts.  I really do feel I have learnt a great deal from this whole experience. I hope to apply these new skills and design products that will cater to future consumer needs and wants.”

Sharing the same sentiments, Kocak added, “The public’s comments and feedback from professional designers gave a lot of insight into the expectations and needs of the consumer and the reality of actually selling a product.  I think it’s quite easy to overlook aspects of these things with school projects where critique often only comes from other students. It was particularly eye opening when the jury brought to light several key issues with my design that I had never considered at all.”

More importantly, the EDL has been a great platform for design students the world over to showcase their innovative works and talent.  Indeed, the competition has been growing in popularity at Australia’s Monash University, where Kocak studies, “Most of my peers in industrial design entered (the EDL).  Many of us found it enjoyable designing our submissions, as it’s an opportunity to work on more forward-thinking concepts.”

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