Third-year industrial Massey design student Ben de la Roche’s open wall refrigerator design, 'Impress', has been placed second at the international Electrolux Design Lab 2012 Awards.
As the runner-up, he received 3000 euros ($4,700). The 21-year-old, originally from Dunedin, was one of 10 finalists selected from more than 1200 entries from 50 countries globally.
His innovative design is for a refrigeration wall that holds food and drinks out in the open rather than behind closed doors. The wall does not refrigerate when it is empty and uses less power when fewer items are pressed into it.
It was described by competition judges as “a visual experience that is energy saving and simplifies the user's life". Judges based their assessments on intuitive design, innovation, aesthetic qualities and consumer insight.
The 'Impress' concept is modelled on children’s toy pin art where an array of pins slide in and out independently of each other.
The design employs a motor to act like a piston to send vibrations that resonate through the inner chamber to create cold air.
“It’s well suited to the flatting environment as it allows everyone’s food to be placed in separate sections of the wall," de la Roche says.
Before leaving for Milan, de la Roche said he was “more excited than nervous” about getting to present his concept in Italy and hoped reaching the final would help kickstart his career in industrial design.
“My passion is science fiction so it would be good to eventually get into concept and movie design.”