In association with Stockholm Design Week, journalists got to get behind the scenes at Electrolux headquarters and meet the designers behind the latest innovations in home appliances and experience the visionary concepts of the...Read more
Electrolux design history
Electrolux designed the first ever vacuum cleaner with metal runners. We launched the world’s first countertop dishwasher. These are some other notable years in Electrolux design history.
Electrolux is founded. The Group’s success is rooted in being close to consumers. Products conform to a mantra – convenient, easy and enjoyable to use at home.
Electrolux launches the Model V vacuum cleaner. Previous vacuum cleaners were bulky stand-up units and not easily portable. The Model V however was designed to lie on the floor on two thin metal runners. This innovation becomes a standard feature on generations of future vacuum cleaners.
Electrolux launches the Model XXX vacuum cleaner, designed by Lurelle Guild. As cars and trains have become streamlined, Axel Wenner-Gren, the founder of Electrolux, sees the value in bringing a similar sleek elegance to home appliances. He personally tracks down some of the leading industrial designers at the time, and gets them to work with Electrolux. The design and shape of a product becomes an important factor to attract buyers.
The refrigerator L300 is launched. It is designed by Raymond Loewy, one of the leading industrial designers of the 20th century and creator of the Lucky Strike package and Studebaker Avanti sports car. The L300 has a streamlined, modern look. The gently rounded edges and cream color also provides a hygienic feel. The spring-assisted door opened at a touch. The refrigerator becomes a huge sales success and Loewy is engaged to design floor polishers and vacuum cleaners. The font and the layout of the Electrolux brand are also designed by Loewy and his team.
Semi-professional and heavy duty, the Assistent is launched in Sweden as a motorized kitchen helper. It will revolutionize food preparation and set a standard on what a food processor should look like.
The D 10 dishwasher, nicknamed “The round tin”, is launched. It is the world’s first countertop dishwasher. In a time when dishwashers were new items and the kitchens generally not adapted to hosting them, this one could be installed in most kitchens without the need for major kitchen renovation.
SP 111 refrigerator is launched. Electrolux had learnt that consumers wanted a cellar or pantry-type cabinet in their new apartments. Since there wasn’t space for one in the new modern apartments, the SP 111 was designed to include a refrigerator at shoulder height, and underneath a cooled cabinet for storing items like jams and juices – items that traditionally would be stored in a cellar. The fridge became a substitute of the cellar.
Electrolux launches several fridge and freezer models with straight edges, designed by Carl Otto. This is an adaptation to a design trend with straight edges and a minimal isolation on the refrigerators. The new design offered a minimalist impression.
Electrolux establishes a design department. Previously, designers had been hired on a consultant basis. Hugo Lindström, becomes the first head of design in Electrolux. He immediately starts building an organization of in-house designers.
One of the new department’s first projects is the Luxomatic vacuum cleaner, launched this year. It is the first of a new generation of vacuum cleaners with features such as a cord winder, self-sealing paper dust bags and a dust indicator displaying when the bag is full.
Electrolux presents the Future Line, its first complete line of appliances with a corresponding design.
With the 1970s comes vibrant color. The design line ‘New Generation’, not only comes in classical white but also in copper and ‘poppy red’ color ways. The latter is presented as “the shining warm color that makes the kitchen snug and enjoyable and that spurs the beauty in carpentry and textiles”.
The Italian appliance manufacturer Zanussi becomes a part of Electrolux, and Zanussi’s design team under the leadership of the famous designer Roberto Pezzetta, is integrated into Electrolux design department.
Hugo Lindström retires. Christian Klingspor is appointed the new head of the design department.
Electrolux becomes the first producer to launch refrigerators totally free from CFC (chlorofluorocarbons), a chemical compound with ozone depletion effect.
Electrolux launches the Trilobite, the first self-going vacuum cleaner on the market. It navigates using ultrasound and turns itself off and recharges when the vacuuming is finished.
Electrolux Design Lab is established, as an annual international design competition in future appliance design and innovation. Electrolux Design Lab brings together the creativity of promising design students from around the world to the challenge of meeting the needs of tomorrow’s consumers. Several thousand students from all over the world have participated in the competition since the start.
The Ultra Silencer is launched – at that time the quietest vacuum cleaner ever designed. Consumer research showed that people wanted a vacuum they could use when children were sleeping. The busy lifestyles of working mothers and fathers with children meant that people wanted quality time with children and still cared about clean, healthy homes. The Ultra Silencer has since been further improved.
The first Electrolux Ergorapido is launched. It is developed after a new cleaning behavior is noted – cleaning limited spaces immediately instead of large spaces with a longer period of time left in between. The design therefore needs to be beautiful enough to ensure that leaving the cabinet outside rather than stowing within, is visually acceptable.
Henrik Otto is appointed new head of global design operations.
Electrolux launches the Ultra Clean Washer, the first washing machine with an ultrasonic stain-removal pen mounted directly on the machine.
Stefano Marzano is appointed the first Chief Design Officer in Electrolux history. He is part of Group Management and leads a new Group staff function gathering all the design related competencies in the Group.
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