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Design Experience takes centre stage in EDL 2012

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The mobile Cube restaurant was temporarily located at the top of the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels, Belgium.More consumers today are looking for more than just perfectly cooked food, they seek memorable experiences with dinner.

For a growing number of discerning and savvy consumers, simply outfitting one’s kitchen with the standard home appliances just isn’t enough anymore. Consumer trends are showing an increasing demand for high performance kitchen equipment that were once usually reserved for the professionals. Customers are now willing to pay double or triple the price of consumer models for the chance to use the same kitchen appliances that Jamie Oliver or Tetsuya does.

Good dining today isn’t just about the great food, it’s also about designing the best experience for your guests. And this goes beyond that perfectly cooked steak with an inner temperature that’s just right.

A great example of this is the Cube dining experience by Electrolux. This temporary pop-up restaurant made its rounds in some of the most scenic and unique locations in Europe, such as on the top of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the Arc de Triomphe in Brussels. Offering cuisine from celebrity chefs, the experience was sold out months in advance.

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Unique, authentic culinary experiences are increasingly sought after in a world where information is increasingly spread digitally. Much of our interactions with the world around us is now experienced through electronic devices like the computer or iPhone.

But man cannot live on visuals alone. The more we live in a digital world, the more we appreciate authentic experiences and interactions. And where food is concerned, the kitchen is still the heart of any home, as much a place for food preparation and consumption as it is a place for socialising and sharing experiences with family and friends.

And this is why the theme “Design Experience” has been chosen for the Electrolux Design Lab 2012 competition. The annual contest invites design students and recent graduates to submit design concepts for home appliances that will provide a fuller sensory experience. Inspiration can be drawn from professional experience creators such as chefs, architects and interior designers to create new experiences through state of the art technology or simply just a clever blend of textures and surfaces.

Said Henrik Otto, Senior Vice President of Global Design at Electrolux: “I believe the importance of our sensory perception is underestimated in a lot of today’s design. Too much importance is accorded to the visual. What if we could incorporate our other senses into design? Could we smell who’s calling? Or feel what’s on TV?”

Submissions are now open till 1 June 2012. Eight finalists will eventually be selected to participate in the final event in 2012 in Europe. The winner can look forward to a paid internship at an Electrolux Design Centre and a cash prize of 5,000 Euros. Beyond that, finalists will gain worldwide publicity, and winners have also gone onto successful design careers with Electrolux.

For more information on the EDL 2012, please go to http://www.electroluxdesignlab.com.

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