Sustainable product design
Students from Munich Technical University have been working in collaboration with the Bosch design team to develop concepts to improve the way people deal with foodstuffs. The students' designs address the question of how household appliances and kitchens could be used in the future to make us more aware of the value of foodstuffs and take more care in how we handle them. The creative, well thought-out designs for sustainable household appliances were presented for the first time at Munich Creative Business Week under the title “Home Heroes.”
With food now permanently available to us, we no longer attach the same level of value to it as we once did. As a consequence, the primary focus for the interdisciplinary team of designers and engineers was not on making appliances as efficient as possible, but on encouraging a more active and aware attitude to dealing with this important resource. One example of how this can work is the “WideFridge.” This device provides a new way to ensure consumers don't forget what is in their fridge. The intelligent glass front enables the user to see into the fridge without having to open the door. Color changes in the translucent front show the user the time remaining before the stored products reach their expiry date. In the future, the concept of a new type of vacuum system to provide optimized storage for sensitive foodstuffs could also generate a more intuitive, responsible, and less complicated approach to dealing with fresh food.
Another design is an appliance known as the “Check Chonson.” It is intended to encourage people to think more about the ripeness and state of fruit and vegetables. It uses colors and structures to identify whether an item of food is suitable for consumption. “The main question was whether the design of household appliances could be used to promote a better attitude to foodstuffs,” says Prof. Fritz Frenkler from the TU Munich, explaining the project's underlying concept. For Robert Sachon, head of brand design at Bosch, the designs produced by this project provide an unequivocal answer to this question. In addition, they demonstrate that design can influence our attitudes and behavior.