February 16, 2006 If there’s one aspect of daily life that has changed little in the last 50 years it is the washing of clothes. Clothes must be washed, then dried, then ironed, before they can be worn. Each is a separate and distinct process and the three processes consume a fair amount of time and brain space. Now there’s a new machine on the horizon called the WashDryIron – a washing machine that does just what its name suggests - it washes, dries AND irons your clothes in totally separate compartments - meaning no more colour runs, no shrinkage and, most importantly, no more ironing. The creator of the world’s first ‘drum-less’ washing machine, Oliver Blackwell – a University of Plymouth product design graduate – believes it can save an average person around ten days a year in ironing time, which equates roughly with our calculations when we looked at Siemens ironing machine.
Oliver, who graduated the University of Plymouth’s Faculty of Arts product design degree course last year, said of his WashDryIron, “I wanted to choose a product for my final project that everyone could connect with and a washing machine seemed like a good idea.”
“My washing machine is the same width and depth as a normal washing machine but the beauty is it can save someone an average of ten days a year in ironing time! I think that is what helps to make it an object of desire and I am hoping that investors at the Ideal Homes Exhibition realise what potential the WashDryIron has. I have had lots of interest shown in the product but what I really need is someone to come forward and invest money into developing it further.”
Potential investors or partners can contact Oliver here.
Roberto Fraquelli, Head of 3D Design at the University of Plymouth and Oliver’s tutor, said: “Oliver sets the example of the characteristics designers need to employ in order to succeed. In addition to creativity, design students have to be able to communicate a ‘point of view’; they need a certain entrepreneurial spirit and tenaciousness in order to persevere. These skills and behaviours are learned through dedicated hard work and we need to learn them at an early stage in our career. At the University of Plymouth we’re teaching product design not only to be fun, engaging and rewarding but also to reflect the qualities of product design today. All learning is done ‘by doing’ in a busy studio environment.”