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November 2, 2012

The Electrolux Design Lab Competition, an annual event staged yearly by the giant home appliances company, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with a brief that challenged students to create concepts that stimulate the senses. The 10 finalists, chosen from over 1,200 entrants from around the globe, made final presentations to the jury at Milan’s Triennale Museum last Thursday, where three winners were chosen. The first-prize winner got 5,000 euros and a six-month internship at Electrolux. The second prize earned 3,000 euros and third prize, 2,000 euros. The quality of the presentation played a major role in determining the winner, just in case you may disagree with the selection.

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Jan Ankiersztajn, a young Polish student, took first place with Aeroball, a small ethereal object that cleans and filters the air while floating in it. Aeroball, which is disposable, absorbs light during the day and radiates it at night.
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New Zealander Ben de la Roche took second place with Impress, a modular refrigeration wall that holds food and drinks out in the open, instead of behind closed doors. Just like induction cooktops, it doesn’t run when there is nothing stored on it, thus using less power.
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Third prize went to Tastee, which also won The People's Choice award. Danish design student Christopher Holm-Hansen's spoon is actually a taste indicator that tells you what you need to add—more salt or more sugar—and what you need to delete.
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Other finalists included Norway's Lisa Frodadottir Låstad’s Easy Stir, a tool that automatically stirs so you don’t have to. It’s powered by magnets that react to an induction cooktop and requires neither batteries nor electricity.
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ICE by Spaniard Julen Pejenaute Beorlegi is not only a lamp that can be adjusted for brightness and color; it also scans ingredients arrayed beneath it and gives suggestions on meals that can be made from them, giving the user access to a vast database of recipes.
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Julian Caraulani’s SmartPlate gives new meaning to the phrase sound bite. The UK-based Romanian student’s project wirelessly connects to a mobile device and attaches music to your meat and potatoes.
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Brazil’s Alexandre de Bastiani used nano-technology for Spummy, a device that creates edible foam with any combination of flavors and materials imaginable. He was inspired, he says, by the famous Spanish chef Ferran Adria.
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Treat, by Australian Amy Mon-Chu Liu, combines vacuum sealing, a classic food-storage method, with modern remote mobile technology. As food ages, the container changes color and finally drops off the tree when the contents are no longer edible.
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Memory, a coffee maker that uses handprint recognition to customize brewing—weak, medium or strong; espresso or ristretto—is China’s Wen Yao Cai’s concept for a personal barista.
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Mo’Sphere, the entry from Mexico’s Yunuén Hernandez is a molecular cooking appliance that can flash freeze, foam, frost, geleé and even make cotton candy.
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