Two students from the National University of Singapore's school of industrial design have won the Electrolux Design Lab 2005 competition with a prototype unit that uses compressed air, negative ions and deodorizing agents to wash clothes.
The award winning design of third year students Gabriel Tan and Wendy Chua, beat entries from 3,000 other students from over 88 countries. Called Airwash, the waterfall-inspired washing unit is waterless and does not use detergents. [...] By using atmospheric air and negative ions a natural cleansing agent it fights dirt and bacteria with nature's own weapon.
Although in principle the Airwash could be used to clean any kind of clothing, the likely application is as a home dry cleaning unit or (in an industrial format) a chemical-free dry cleaning system.
The Airwash remains a prototype/"concept washer" design, but it's nicely illustrative of an emerging focus on solutions to everyday problems that use fewer resources. The articles about the Airwash make no mention of its power requirements, but it could in principle both replace the washer and eliminate the need for a dryer. Depending upon load size, it may well have lower overall power needs than the obsolete combination. It also reduces the resource dependency from two or three (electricity, water and possibly gas) to just one (electricity).
Product designs such as this exemplify the bright green scenario of devices that can do more with fewer resources -- what we sometimes call "economies of scope."
(Thank you, Chris Albon)
Really interesting, finaly we can do more with fewer resources !
The proof is in the pudding. Sounds good in concept, but this idea is not new. Time will tell if anything comes of this.