Food-Generating Microwave Wins Electrolux Design Challenge

How will people make dinner in 90 years? If the newly crowned winner of the Electrolux Design Lab 2009 challenge is any indication, it'll be as easy as 1-2-3. Cocoon is a fish- and meat-generating microwave, intended as a solution to preserve fishing and farming resources.

You can probably already tell that this isn't your mother's microwave. The Cocoon, designed by Rickard Hederstierna of Sweden, generates meat and fish dishes with the same ease that your own 'wave pops corn. RFID technology culls cooking directions from muscle cells in small food pouches (like the salmon in the rendering above) to automatically set cooking time and temperature.

Hederstierna received a 5,000 Euro (about $7,300) prize and a six-month internship in the Electrolux Design Lab.

The People's Choice Award went to the Teleport Fridge, which beams fresh groceries into your kitchen at the touch of a button. The first-runner up was Penghao Shan's water catcher, which collects and filters rain water for drinking. And third prize went to the Renew smart steamer by Louis Filosa.

Bifoliate

How often do your clean dishes never make it from the dishwasher to the cabinet? Toma Brundzaite of Lithuania has a design that makes the washer and cabinet one in the same. The dual-sided, wall-mounted dishwasher stores dirty plates on one side and clean on the other. To start a wash cycle, just swing the door to the dirty side.

Cocoon

Half-microwave, half-magical food generator, the Cocoon by Swedish designer Rickard Hederstierna "grows food." And we're not talking veggies: Cocoon can grow meat or fish. Pop a pre-packaged, genetically engineered envelope inside and it sets its own cooking time based on what it detectd (via RFID) and generates a meal.

Le Petit Prince

We can colonize Mars all we want, but Le Petit Prince by Martin Miklica (Czech Republic) will make sure there's something to eat once we do. The Prince carries a plant inside its glass shell and searches for nutrients to help the bud thrive. Once it finds what it needs, the Prince remembers where it was and can message other 'bots to make sure they know, too.

Moléculaire

Germany's Nico Kläber figured out the best way to make the same great dish over and over again: make a three-dimensional food printer. Moléculaire is a food printer for both professional and domestic kitchens to automatically create perfect meals layer by layer.

Naturewash

Naturewash by Zhenpeng Li of China is true dry cleaning. The machine uses negative ions to clean fabrics. The Naturewash can be propped up on one end like a lounge chair, so you can plop down for a quick refresh for the the clothes you're already wearing.

Renew

The Renew steams, cleans, and Febreezes. The design by American Louis Fioloa scans specially designed clothing labels to properly treat different fabrics. Simply slide your clothes between its plates for one-step cleaning. It will also shut down if an unlabeled item is inserted, so you won't scald your hands.

Teleport Fridge

Imagine instant deliveries. Dulyawat Wongnawa's Teleport Fridge can make it happen. Its touch-screen interface allows you to order fresh groceries from stores and farms, and they will then appear in eithr the fridge or freezer.

Water Catcher

There’s a lot of moisture in the air, which Chinese designer Pengbao Shun sees as more than humidity: it’s drinking water. The Water Catcher deploys pods to catch rainwater and return it to the purifying tray where it’s made drinkable. The pods then deliver the purified water to whoever’s thirsty.