Washing machines aren’t exactly the kind of appliances you want to put on show in your home - which is one of the reasons they’re generally located in the laundry away from discerning eyes. But with around 74 percent of the world’s population expected to live in an urban environment by 2050 according to the UN, many people will be living in dwellings without a dedicated laundry and will be forced to house their washing machines in other rooms. With that in mind Electrolux has come up with a couple of sleek washing machine designs which can be integrated into a bathroom.
Launched at Milan Design Week last month, the SHINE washing machine concepts are designed to address the problem of finding somewhere to locate a washing machine in shrinking domestic spaces. Electrolux had two designs on show: one freestanding and one that can be wall mounted. The freestanding appliance can be integrated underneath a bathroom sink, while the wall mounted version is easily integrated with bathroom cupboards.
The SHINE washing machine concepts have a small display over the doors for the selection of washing programs, depending on the type of garments that are to be washed, while a light ring around the door is used to visually communicate both the cycle time and the phase of the washing process. Once the washing cycle is started the ring around the door will start to light up in a clockwise manner, becoming a complete circle a the completion of the washing cycle.
“We wanted to make the appliance look more like bathroom furniture than just a washing machine,” says Levente Szabo, lead designer for the SHINE concepts.”The form and high gloss finish reference porcelain and ceramics as normally found in the bathroom environment.”
The size of the concept units suggests they will only be able to handle relatively small loads, which raises questions about their overall water consumption in comparison to traditional washing machines. But the space saving and attractive designs get our tick of approval on a purely visual level. As to whether the SHINE concepts ever make it out of the Electrolux Design Lab and into stores, we’ll just have to wait and see.