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Winner - Bronze
Designer: Vijay Chakravarthy
Design Type: Concept Home Appliance
The modern kitchen has evolved into a showcase of stylish, sterile and efficient products and spaces. It is referred to as the ‘heart of the home’ and indicates the value of the real estate. Space is premium and its optimal use is a goal of product designs for the kitchen. This project began with an inquiry into the internal spaces and appliances of the kitchen in relation to the user. The area under the kitchen sink with serpentine plumbing has a ‘dark and dank’ perception, thus being an under-utilized space. The dishwasher is not ergonomic, requiring the user to rinse at the sink and bend multiple times to load dishes into the trays. The sink and dishwasher, having common uses and similar input plumbing, offer the opportunity to be re-designed and integrated into a kitchen wash-station. Washmaid is a compact integrated kitchen sink and dishwasher. The under-sink dishwasher elevates smoothly above the counter for user access and retracts back under to wash, at the touch of a button. A touch-screen display panel elevates with the dishwasher unit to provide user interface at eye-level. The movement is achieved by the use of a compact version of the reliable hydraulic scissor-lift system, commonly used in the construction industry. The new sink design has a sunken drain area running along the wall at the far end of the sink. This clears-up space under the sink and the plumbing runs along the wall-end of the unit. The drain includes an easy-clean filter that fits into the sunken area. Sink plumbing with shut-off valves allow for attachment / detachment as it translates with the dishwasher. The family version includes two full sinks and a mini sink in the centre for the dispose-all. Ergonomic and child safe, this concept allows the user to deposit used dishes into one of the sinks, rinse into the auxiliary centre sink and load into the elevated dishwasher, all whilst standing in the same spot without having to bend. With access to dish racks from three directions, loading the dishes is a breeze. The racks have been designed to elegantly hold the dishes so that the dishwasher looks orderly even when it is fully loaded. This offers a refined workflow, reducing task-time for the user. The weight activated water-spray system irrigates only the zones that contain dishes, making efficient use of water. This allows for guilt free running of the dishwasher, even if it is partially loaded. Further energy and water savings come from the integrated water heater that reduces lead time for dispensing hot water and doubling the heating-coils as a dish-dryer. The integration of the sink and dishwasher make it easier for installation, increasing contractor efficiency and reducing external plumbing. The dispose-all unit is located towards the bottom of the unit, offering better accessibility for maintenance. The product would come with customizable countertops and tap ware.