Innovative designer re-thinks the refrigerator, aims to save energy

October 4, 2012
Ben de la Roche with his refrigeration wall design.

Third-year industrial design student Ben de la Roche has been shortlisted for the international Electrolux Design Lab 2012 Award for his design of an open refrigeration wall.

The 21- year-old, from Dunedin, who studies art Massey's College of Creative Arts, is one of ten finalists culled from more than 1300 entries globally. The competition challenges undergraduate and graduate industrial design students to 'present innovative ideas for of the future.'

Mr de la Roche's design is of a refrigeration wall that holds food and drinks out in the open rather than behind closed doors. It does not refrigerate when it is empty and uses less power when fewer items are pressed into it.

The wall uses a motor in its back to act like a piston to send vibrations that resonate through the inner chamber to create cold air, Mr de la Roche says.

His design concept is modelled on the children's toy pin art where a boxed surface made of an array of pins slide in and out independently of each other.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

In Mr de la Roche's design the horizontal pins that make up the wall are designed so that it can contain both ceramic plates as well as drink cans and bottles.

"It's well suited to the flatting environment as it allows everyone's food to be placed in separate sections of the wall," he says.

As an Electrolux finalist Mr de la Roche has been invited to present his concept design to a panel of judges on October 25 in Milan, Italy The jury panel will consider entries based on intuitive design, innovation, aesthetic qualities and consumer insight, before awarding the first prize of a six-month paid internship at Electrolux global design centre and a of 5000 Euros (about NZ$7800).

He said he was "more excited than nervous" about getting to present his concept in Italy and long term hoped his short-listing would help kick-start his career in industrial design.

"My passion is science fiction so it would be good to eventually get into concept and movie ."

Explore further: Innovations in Light-Emitting Wallpaper & Design

Related Stories

Innovations in Light-Emitting Wallpaper & Design

October 17, 2007

Jonas Samson of the Netherlands has developed a light emitting wallpaper. The Dutch designer has stretched the utility and craft to form a work of art for his products. In other work he utilizes Freestyle Blowmoulding to ...

Portable solar device creates potable water

March 22, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- By harnessing the power of the sun, a Monash University graduate has designed a simple, sustainable and affordable water-purification device, which has the potential to help eradicate disease and save lives.

Wrapped up in Ribbon

September 12, 2011

An amazing portable combination heating and cooling device, designed by Monash University Industrial Design student Enzo Kocak, has claimed second place in this year’s international Electrolux Design Awards.

Recommended for you

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

Smallest 3-D camera offers brain surgery innovation

August 28, 2015

To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

VendicarD
not rated yet Oct 04, 2012
It is an interesting idea that ants and flies will love.
chromosome2
not rated yet Oct 05, 2012
It doesn't refrigerate unused... volume? That's nice. .......surface area? I'm willing to bet it's going to continue to be greener to use a deep-freezer rigged up with a thermostat power switch set to 4 C.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.