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Ever heard of a Smoobo Blender?

Probably not, but it’s a tasty piece of innovative design that has earned Massey University student Roseanne de Bruin a finalist spot in the global Electrolux Design Lab competition. In fact, Massey University students have snatched up the only three spots by Kiwis in the top 25 list, which features designers from 14 countries including South Korea, USA, the Czech Republic, France and Poland. 

de Bruin’s Smoobo Blender is a quirky and environmentally friendly way to make smoothies that works by literally bouncing ingredients together. To create your smoothie, you place the ingredients inside the rubber ball, shut the knob tightly and start bouncing it around. The bounce action activates kinetic batteries which make the rotor blades spin, resulting in a perfectly blended smoothie. And in another design twist, de bruin used uneven rubber knobs on the surface to make the ball bounce in unpredictable directions. 

Number two (in no particular order) of the top Kiwi entries is David Stockton’s EcoWash Dinner Set—a portable dishwasher ideally suited to boating, camping and, well, you get the idea. 

It actually operates much like those plastic salad chopping bowls. Once cutlery and plates have been placed into the small, round washing machine, you simply add washing liquid and water, close the latch and start turning the handle on the side. The interior rotates to wash the plates efficiently and effortlessly. After use, you open the small hatch below to release the water. If you want to dry the plates, just turn the handle a few more times to create a centrifugal force. It’s ecofriendly, handy and easy to carry. 

Next up is the Heat Grenade by Sam Evans. Sounds intriguing. Evans’ invention is actually a portable cooking device that was conceived as a prop for use in emergencies. It is powered by paper-thin batteries which both generate power and are recharged by water absorbed from the air. But as well as being an impressive and practical idea, it also offers a lot in the visual form. When the device is closed, it resembles a stylish aliminium egg and when it’s opened, it folds out like an opening flower. 

From the 25 semi finalists, eight will be invited to present their concept to a jury of expert designers. Electrolux will announce the top eight in the week commencing 11 July). To sway the judges in their favour, entries will need to show elements of intuitive design, innovation and consumer insight. 

Up for grabs is a top prize of a six-month paid internship at an Electrolux global design centre and 5,000 Euros (NZ$8,794). The second place getter will receive 3,000 Euros (NZ5,276) and third prize consists of 2,000 Euros (NZ3,518). In addition, the Kiwi design students will receive $1,000 if they make the final eight cut. 

“The top 25 are to be congratulated on their approach—the combination of lateral thinking and creativity is inspiring,” says Henrik Otto, SVP Global Design, Electrolux. “At this stage of the contest, we present the 25 responses that offer the most interesting solutions for future living and best consider the application of intelligent mobility to appliance design.”

Check out the remaining top 25 contenders HERE.