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The appliances of tomorrow

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Hungarian student Levente Szabo has just been awarded the 2007 Electrolux Design Lab Grand Prize for his washing machine E-Wash, which uses soap nuts instead of detergent.

This annual competition, now in its fifth year, awards imaginative and sustainable ideas that seek to better household appliances. Eight project finalists were in the running.

Hoping to eliminate the production, packaging and transportation of detergents, Szabo turned to soap nuts, a natural ingredient that can be cultivated. He also wanted to change the conventional shape of the washing machine by rendering it smaller, flatter and easier for small apartments to accommodate.

The second prize was awarded to Pebble by École Boulle student Laura Pandelle for her portable solar food cooker that utilizes induction heating and spray-on solar cells.

The third prize went to Chinese student He Cheng Fei from Jiangnan University for Go Fresh, an energy-saving refrigerator that distinguishes itself through its honeycomb-shaped compartments that store every type of food at the right temperature.

The grand prize winner was awarded 5000 euros and a six-month internship at an Electrolux design centre. Those in second and third place received 3000 and 2000 euros respectively.

Translation by Jennifer Edwards