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Flatshare fridge protects food from flatmates

Flatshare fridge protects food from famished flatmates

For creator Stefan Buchberger, a design student at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, the idea grew out of a semester-long theme about keeping personal space clean and tidy. “I decided to create Flatshare fridge because there is nothing more disgusting than a dirty fridge in a shared flat,” he says. “At the time, I was living in such a flat!”

The fridge consists of a base station and up to four stackable modules. The modules allow each individual user to have his or her own refrigerator space and can be customized with various colorful skins as well as with add-ons like a bottle opener or a whiteboard.

Handles on the sides of the modules make them easy to transport. “If you move to new flat, you can just transport your module like a suitcase and hook it up to the base station in your new flat,” Buchberger explains.

Media release 15 October 2008

Flatshare fridge protects food from famished flatmates

Sick of your flatmates drinking all your milk or boiling your last egg? Help is at hand to keep your food safe from ravenous roommates!

A modular fridge designed with multiple food storage compartments for people sharing flats has won the Electrolux Design Lab 08 competition.

The ingenious Flatshare invented by Stefan Buchberger, from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna, Austria, is designed to keep food separate - ideal for flats where multiple roommates share the same fridge.

Flatshare consists of a base station and up to four stackable modules. The modules allow each individual user to have his or her own refrigerator space and can be customized with colourful skins as well as add-ons such as bottle openers. Handles mounted on the side make it easy to transport the modules.

University students and young professionals often share living spaces…and kitchens. With Flatshare, never again will they have to endure another person's mouldy cheese or old leftovers.

"I got the idea to create the Flatshare fridge because in many shared flats there is a problem with the refrigerator," says Buchberger. "It gets filthy because no one person feels responsible for cleaning it."

The jury was impressed by the ingenuity. "A fridge is a tricky thing to reinvent," says Henrik Otto, head of Global Design for Electrolux and chair for the jury. "Flatshare, however, manages to be new in a fun and expressive way. A shared refrigerator is also very relevant from a consumer-insight perspective, managing to resolve the needs and wants of the target group."

"This concept stood out, in colour as well as design, and the fact that you could personalize your Flatshare modules added an interesting emotional value," adds Yves Behar, award-wining Swiss designer and fellow juror.

The Design Lab 2008 grand winner won â‚5000 and a six-month internship at one of Electrolux's global design centres.

The award for second place went to iBasket - a laundry basket that turns into a washing machine when it's full and automatically washes your clothes - by Guopeng Liang from Tongji University, Shanghai, China.

Third place went to Coox - a rollaway cooking table - by Antoine Lebrun from L'Ecole de Design Nantes Atlantique.

Electrolux's sixth Design Lab attracted more than 600 entries from 49 countries around the world. The competition has been running since 2003, following a different theme each year and challenging industrial design students to develop the appliances of the future.

This year Electrolux invited undergraduate and graduate industrial design students to create tomorrow's home appliances for the "Internet Generation". They were to look two to three years into the future to address food storage, cooking, and/or washing issues.

Group shot of the
nine finalists of the Electrolux Design Lab
Group shot of the nine finalists of the Electrolux Design Lab competition 08. This global design competition challanges industrial design students to develop the appliances of the future. This year's theme was appliances for the i-generation that is three to five years out. The Electrolux Design Lab final was held in Zurich.

The other six finalists were:

• Sook, a social networking recipe generator with electronic tongue, by Adam Brodowski, Savannah College of Art and Design, USA.

• E-bag, a kinetic energy-powered cooler bag, by Apore Puspoki, Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design, Budapest, Hungary.

• Stratosphere, a sanitizing clothes rack/valet, by Atilla Safrani, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest, Hungary.

• Vesta, a foldaway cooktop with RFID scanner, by Matthias Pinkert, HTW Dresden (FH) University of Applied Sciences, Germany.

• Drawer Kitchen, a desk-drawer hotplate and fridge, by Nojae Park, Chiba University, Japan.

• Scan Toaster, a USB toaster that prints news, weather and snapshots onto slices of toast, by Sung Bae Chang, Sejong University, South Korea.


For further information on the finalists' entries and the competition, please visit

For more information, images or video of the finalists visit:


Editor's Notes

About Design Lab
Since 2003, thousands of design students have participated in the Electrolux Design Lab competition, which every year has a different theme (2007 green designs; 2006 healthy eating) and culminates in a different city at an international press event. Previous venues include Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm, New York, and Budapest.

Electrolux Home Products
• Electrolux is a global leader in home appliances and appliances for professional use, selling more than 40 million products to customers in 150 countries every year. The company focuses on innovations that are thoughtfully designed, based on extensive consumer insight, to meet the real needs of consumers and professionals.
• Electrolux products include refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and cookers sold under brands such as Electrolux, AEG-Electrolux, Simpson and Westinghouse. In 2007, Electrolux had sales of 105 billion Swedish Kronor and 57,000 employees. For more information, visit

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