Beautiful work by the handful of students in Lund University's School of Industrial Design made the design festival rounds this year with "Yesterday Today Tomorrow," a series of future-thinking products that employ traditional craftsmanship, natural materials and the hand-driven mechanics of the days of yore.
Jiang Qian's Lo-Fi Washer, a human-powered washing machine, is a refreshing throwback to the days before electricity. With this project,Qian wanted to "see if low-technology appliances have any potential in modern society." One great aspect of the design is the ability to wash a small amount of clothing at a time, which may not seem like an advantage at first, but how often do you end up doing a big load of wash in order to justify cleaning that one shirt you want to wear tomorrow? Though I doubt the Lo-Fi Washer will catch on in a major way, it's still a great solution for delicate items that require hand laundering.
Gabriella Rubin and Kornelia Knutson reconsider the kitchen with Root, a food storage system that bucks conventional refrigeration with a compartmentalized cabinet. Each section has a different temperature and humidity specially calibrated for different kinds of food. This method not only saves energy, it helps your groceries last longer. The set-up can easily be customized to fit whatever space you have available in your kitchen, whether you only have enough room for a mini-fridge (or, in this case, a mini-Root) or you want the full-sized model. From an aesthetic point of view I love the idea of storing my produce in a wooden unit, and Rubin and Knutson have tricked out the cabinets with extra features like a magnetized wooden strip to hold cans, helping you get the most out of the space.
When Perrin isn't scouting the best new design talent for Core77, or working as the Products Editor of The Architect's Newspaper, or writing for Cool Hunting, Design Applause, Print Magazine, Frieze and The Paris Review, she's trying to put her MFA in Fiction from Vermont College to good use.