Wellington student's revolutionary fridge

21:29, Sep 24 2012
Ben de la Roche
BREAKING THE ICE: Massey University design student Ben de la Roche and his revolutionary fridge design. He found inspiration for the design ‘‘in things such as the children’s toy pin art’’

A concept born out of the idea of throwing food at the wall has won a Massey University industrial design student a trip to Italy.

Ben de la Roche, from Wellington, has been named one of 10 finalists in the Global Electrolux Design Lab competition, which attracted about 1200 entries from around the world.

The third-year Massey student has designed his "Impress" refrigerator in a revolutionary design which - if ever made - could change the way we keep food and drinks cold, with environmental benefits.

The fridge is a series of individually chilled sliding pins. To put things in the fridge, people slide in a plate or bottle. The pins around the item chill, keeping last night's dinner cold.

Because only the neighbouring pins chill, the Impress uses less electricity than a conventional fridge.

It also uses harmless gases to chill, instead of ammonia and CFCs.


"The concept for the Impress Refrigerator began as the rather immature idea of being able to physically throw your leftovers at the wall and they somehow would stay there and refrigerate," he said.

"After the realisation of the inevitable issues in my idea, I began refining my concept, researching and finding inspiration in things such as the children's toy pin art.”

Mr de la Roche will travel to Milan to present his concept on October 25.

Whether the design, which has only been made as a model, will ever be made to work remains uncertain.

"Electrolux have all the rights to it. It's pretty much up to them."

In Milan, he will be up against designers from as far afield as Norway, Brazil and China.

Designs include a plate that "understands" food and turns it into music, a coffee maker that remembers how you like your coffee, and a spoon with taste receptors.

The Dominion Post