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Electrolux

SEAbreeze

3 Stage - Visual Development

SEAbreeze is an indoor air quality control system. It works with seawater and provides clean, salty air, drinking water and a mild breeze in the room.

  • Concept images
  • Design details
  • Functional details
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
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  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
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  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Visual Development
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Expert feedback, stage 3

Good looking visuals and a very interesting and attractive concept to the consumer. At the last stage you can focus more on the functionality and also tell how much air does the concept clean according to your calculations. Good luck for the last development stage!

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2 Stage - Concept Development

Besides clean, salty air and drinking water SEAbreeze also generates the relaxing atmosphere of a seashore for your perfect wellness at home.

  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Concept Development
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - Concept Development
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As I described in the first part of the competition SEAbreeze provides you the feeling and the positive effects of being on the seashore with clean salty air that helps you to relax and preserve your wellness. The service includes bottled salty water from the sea that is evaporated and desalinated by the device.
I developed the concept further in terms of functionality, efficiency and emotional interaction. I tried to gain more experience about the topic by visiting a salt cave myself and more knowledge by reading a lot and talking to possible future users. My research included interviews with allergic and asthmathic people and other regular visitors of salt caves. I tried to investigate what is the effect they search for and realized it is not only about preserving the health of the body but also having a nice time and peace of mind – something that is most needed in an urban environment for inspired and balanced lifestyle.
That discovery gave me an idea about focusing SEAbreeze not only on the aircleaning pocess but the more human aspects: the healing and relaxing effects of the appliance. I mapped the possible interactions between the object and the user (install, refill, recollect drinking water, check humidity level, etc.) and compared them to the expectation of the user. People like to interact with their objects (that makes them attached) but instead of technical interactions they need more emotional interactions. I had to develope the experience so inspired by last year’s Electrolux Design Lab I made SEAbreeze more stimulating for the senses and I made easier the technical maintainance.
The most problematic part was that if you want to evaporate seawater you have to refill the water container of the device every now and then. And to mount the whole thing on the wall wasn’t the best idea either. I decided by something simple and elegant – SEAbreeze should be light as a bouquet of flower so that you could easily place it inside a bottle full of seawater where it immediately starts absorbing the water and fill the air with its healing particles.
The dehumidifier is placed in an empty bottle where the unnecessary water molecules from the air get collected to and passing through a filter they end up filling the bottle with drinking water by the end of the day.
To visually express the easy operation and the relaxing effect of the clean air I have choosen a light and elegant structure inspired by sealife, plants on the seashore and the flickering lights of the salt caves or salt lamps. The light the object emits can change colour and the water reflects beautifully on the walls making SEAbreeze a wonderful tool to create a calming atmosphere. You can also set it to play some meditative natural sounds of waves or add some oils for the scent to stimulate other senses.

Expert feedback, stage 2

The development phase has developed the design into something more concrete in it’s multifunctionality. Beautiful visuals, in the next stage they could be developed into more detail tied to the functionality and consumer interaction.

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1 Stage - My concept

SEAbreeze is an indoor air quality control system. It works with seawater and provides clean, salty air, drinking water and a mild breeze in the room.

  • SEAbreeze - Stage - My concept
  • SEAbreeze - Stage - My concept
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Indoor air quality is a critical problem in growing cities – it is sometimes even worse than outside. Pollution and overused air makes more and more people have asmathic or allergic symptoms.
The SEAbreeze air quality control system aims to clean the air from bacteria, dust, pollens and other unwanted, microscopic particles and it helps correcting the humidity level of the rooms. This is important because dry air is bad for our skin and it irritates our mucous membranes and humid air helps mold and other bacteries to reproduce. Both have negative effects on our furniture and objects.
SEAbreeze monitors the air quality sending feedback about it to your smartphone and it helps to create a good atmosphere. There are two parts of the appliance: a humidifier and a dehumidifier. The humidifier evaporates seawater. The salt it contains has a positive effect on health as in salt caves and other kind of salt therapy. It helps allergic and asmathic patients to breath easier. If the humidity level is good than both parts works the same, if there is some correction needed, for example the air is too dry, the humidifier works on a higher level than the dehumidifier. The two parts are placed in different corners of the room to induce a natural moving of the air – just like the wind forms on the seashore.
Both parts can be attached easily on the wall and they emit a mild glowing light of red or blue depending on how hard they are working.

Expert feedback, stage 1

Interesting with many different functions to meet different needs of the consumer. Can the concept be developed with consumer research and how would the findings effect the design?

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2013-08-01 | No Comments

Summary of the final concept

Humidity is not evident for human perception – the only thing we will feel either if the humidity level is too high or too low is discomfort. That is why we should measure and control it.
SEAbreeze corrects the humidity level without much interaction. The only thing we need to do is put the humidifier part into a bottle of seawater and the dehumidifier to an empty one. As the humidifier evaporates the water that contains the negative ions of the seasalt and the dehumidifier catches and filters the unnecesary moisture from the air it basically washes the air in the room removing every unwanted particles and it also produces drinking water.
This concept is based on the need for a relaxing, healthy and clean atmosphere at home unlike in the urban environment of the big cities and on the availability of sources such as seawater and sunlight. In my research I found out that there are more and more people suffering from asthmatic and allergic symptoms due to the dust and pollens in the air not only outdoors but inside our homes as well. One way for treatment is halotherapy (use of salt for treating illnesses) for example it helps when you go to a salt cave and sit there for a while. It will help you breathe easier, it relaxes your muscles and it prevents all kinds of illnesses. This discovery fit perfectly with my intention to make a good use of seawater without desalinization and even to use the advantages of seasalt in our homes.

Technological concept

Our natural air quality control system are the leaves of plants, so for filling our homes with natural air the first thing to do is analyze how they work.
Nanotechnology gives us a lot of new opportunities and if we follow the researches it is clear that we get closer to create intelligent materials that act like a natural organism. Tissues of any living thing combine cells with different functions and they work by reacting to each other, so our smart materials should act the same.
For SEAbreeze I imagined a special, multifunctional coating on the helical structure – the humidifier should be covered with a superabsorbent material that absorbs the salty water and releases it by electrical impulse. The coating should also contain little solar panels to catch and preserve energy from the sunlight. The dehumidifier should be a composite made of a hydrophobic material covered by hydrophilic bumps that can be cooled down for higher efficiency.
SEAbreeze monitors the air quality with sensors and corrects the measured levels to the preferred ones. The exact calculations for how much water is needed depends on the circumstances – relative humidity, temperature and the size of the room. In an average room of 16 square meters (48 m3 air) one bottle (1,5 liter) is enough per day, in a bigger area it is possible that two or more sets of SEAbreeze must be operated. (main resource: http://www.armstronginternational.com/files/products/humidifiers/pdf/HB5O1.pdf )


2013-08-01 | No Comments

Development Blog Review

So the design process of the SEAbreeze concept came to an end. It was a really challenging and exciting process for me. To sum it up let’s see a quick review of my developement blog and a short description of my design.

Key element in the concept – Uses of salt and seawater

The key to sustainability is to rethink how we use our resources. The water consumption of our society endangers our drinking water supply and if we look into the future this problem will grow and effect more and more people. My vision was to make a better use for what we do have on this beautiful blue planet – salty water from our seas and oceans. As desalinization is an expensive and energy demanding process we should think about areas where seawater can be used directly or look for areas where the salt can even be an advantage. Salt can be used for a lot of things, just as an example: halotherapy (the use of salt for treating health problems).

Research&Inspiration – Visit at Maria Salt Cave

If you have ever walked on the beach by the sea you have experienced how different is to breath in the salty air. Salt clears up your respiratory system and due to the negative ions it cleans the air from dust, pollens and bacteria. The same can be experienced in underground salt caves – no wonder that people with asthma or allergies like to visit them. In the last few years artificial salt caves spread all over every big city where the traffic, factories and constructions caused lack of natural air. The artificial caves create a relaxing atmosphere with flickering lights and meditative music.

Concept Developement – Effect and interactions with consumers

I revealed through interviews, reviews and reading blog posts and articles about salt caves that half of the salt cave visitors are not even asthmathic and they have no permanent illness whatsoever. Salt therapy is great for preventing illnesses and it makes you relaxed and even more beautiful (salt is good for your skin and hair too). So to create the same experience at home I wanted to implement every tool mentioned in the feedbacks including the colors and lights.

Sketches – Efficiency, functionality and emotion

Developing the idea I focused on 3 very important factors: efficiency (big surfaces to more effective evaporating and dehumidifying), functionality (easy refill, easy maintenance) and emotion (effecting every sense, creating relaxing atmosphere).

Finishing Concept Developement

Based on the consumer insight research what people want is the less technical interaction and the more emotional interaction. I decided that SEAbreeze will not be a big object mounted on the wall with tanks you have to empty and refill every day but something more simple, elegant and easy to move around.

Moodboards – Inspiration for the visual details

To find the right character for my design I collected images and created some moodboards. I wanted to evoke the same feeling that you have when you walk on the windy seashore. I found inspiration in corals, leaves, salt caves and scandinavian natural settings and design.

Sketches – Looking for the final form

To find the right form I had to define the design of the bottle and the device itself separately. Constantly inspired by the moodboards I created earlier I tried to simplify the natural organic patterns to find the essence.

Background Info – A little biology

Studying and analyzing leaves helped me a lot – how they collect water to their roots, how they control the water evaporation through the leaves (transpiration) and how they arrange themselves around the stem helically to get the most sunshine possible.

Sketches – Evolution of the form

I tried to interpret these information to the visual language in many different ways. Through many stages I finally found the right form that I think can meet all the functional and ergonomic requirements and make the device easy to use and a pleasure to look at.


2013-06-10 | No Comments

Sketches – Evolution of the form

I would like to share with you some interesting stations of my design process. Finding the right form is never easy – it takes a lot of effort to meet with the ergonomic, functional and aesthetical requirements without compromise.
First you need to find the right inspiration that will support your concept. Many times this inspiration comes from nature, but as I write in one of my previous posts I like how scandinavian designers are able to simplify natural patterns and combining them with geometry showing only the essence of the inspiration yet make the contact between the user and the product natural and obvious.
Biology and plants seemed a good starting point for my reasearch for inspiration as they influence the climate and they are able to adapt to the environment. They need water to function and they give back some by evaporating it, also cleaning the air from CO2 and converting it to oxygen. Basically plants are our natural air quality control system.
I was reading a lot about leaves and trees and flowers in different climates and I found some interesting facts that I shared with you in my last post. I applied to my design how some leaves find their ways to get water by forming a cone. Also I found interesting that they are able to breathe through their leaves – a process that is called transpiration. And also I think it is very clever that leaves surround the steam in a spiral to get the most sunlight possible and not to shadow each other.
As you can see I tried to translate these informations to simple forms borrowing some ideas from different types of plants (connection between leaves and stems, cell structures, etc.) keeping in mind what I have learnt in the research for consumer insight. I think the final form can be an efficient, comfortable and also a pleasure to look at especially when it is lit by the LED panel inside so that it can also create the atmosphere I decided to try to achieve when I was in the salt cave. Hope you like it!

  • Sketches – Evolution of the form
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2013-06-05 | No Comments

Background Info – A little biology

Meanwhile I am making the renders here is a hint about how SEAbreeze will look like and how exactly it is going to work.
It is amazing how nature seems conciously designed – biology solves problems in a very creative way, so I have borrowed some ideas beyond the climate of the seashores. Looking for the forms and materials I found some really interesting information about leaves and many of them could be involved to my design.
Wait for the details until tomorrow but I can tell you these will be involved.

Also here is a wikipedia article about a bug who inspired nanotechnology researchers (also lucky for me): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namib_Desert_beetle

Check these out and I will go back to Rhino….. Wish me luck for the finish!

  • Background Info – A little biology
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2013-06-03 | No Comments

Sketches – Looking for the final form

Working on the details made me realize that there are some aspects I have to change about the previous design. I developed the form but I will not reveal the final conclusion until my next submission, but here are some sketches I made in the process. It is amazing how little changes can make so much difference. I am looking for the most simple and elegant form to meet with the functional requirements…

  • Sketches – Looking for the final form
  • Sketches – Looking for the final form
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2013-06-02 | No Comments

Moodboards – Inspiration for the visual details

They say the Devil is in the details – Refining the visual appearance of SEAbreeze, I am now facing three main challanges – the looks of the SEAwater bottles, the humidifier parts and the dehumidifier parts. The forms and textures are supposed to help easy and ergonomic usage, efficient operation and also to blend in our urban environment creating a cosy and fresh atmosphere even in a small flat.
I am now struggling with making the models and I would like to share with you some of my inspirations that help me decide how I want SEAbreeze to feel like. Even if this phase is called Visual Developement I think consumers care not only about how an object looks like. They use all of their senses to perceive a product. I want SEAbreeze to be appealing for all our senses.
I found inspiration in a lot of things – I try to find the right atmosphere the device could create with its sounds and effects on the windy seashores, the great efficiency of the corals finding many different ways to make their surfaces the biggest possible and get in touch with the water, the soft textures of the leaves controlling the evaporation of the plants and absorbing the sunlight, the stimuli that makes you relaxed and healthy in the salt caves, the lights and colours of inspiration and the natural yet simple forms of scandinavian design.
What I love about the works of designers from the North is that they can use nature as inspiration but instead of replicating the form of trees, leaves, plants or flowers they catch the essence of them and show it with minimal visual tools.
SEAbreeze borrows functional concepts from nature such as the salty air and the seashore wind so its form should reflect these too.

  • Moodboards – Inspiration for the visual details
  • Moodboards – Inspiration for the visual details
  • Moodboards – Inspiration for the visual details
  • Moodboards – Inspiration for the visual details
  • Moodboards – Inspiration for the visual details
  • Moodboards – Inspiration for the visual details
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2013-04-30 | No Comments

Finishing Concept Developement

After discussing the sketches with some people and taking a big walk in the city I think I finally have the whole concept. I had that experience when you have every part of your project in your mind and suddenly it just clicks and everything falls into the right place. So I will start making new sketches, renderings and some infographics to show you how I finished the concept for the next stage on wednesday.
I think the most important idea today was that SEAbreeze shouldnt be a big object mounted on the wall but something more simple and elegant. That will also make the object easy to move around the house, because you maybe dont want to buy one pair of humidifier and dehumidifier for every room. And it will require minimum effort for refilling and operating. Now I am searching for ideas for solving the energy problem and I found two interesting ways how salt can be used for creating and preserving energy. Here are my findings, I think they can be implemented in my design.

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/technology/batteries/solar-energy-saved-salt-battery/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/01/130107-osmotic-energy-norway/


2013-04-28 | No Comments

Sketches – Efficiency, functionality and emotion

I started to define the form and the visuals but I am still not satisfied and I keep searching for something simpler and stronger. Anyway I think I am on the right path and I share with you what I have so far.
While drawing the sketches I made some important decisions about the concept.
There are three aspects I want to enhance with the form: efficiency, functionality and emotion.
Efficiency
To make SEAbreeze work efficiently I will need a big surface for both the humidifier and the dehumidifier part to evaporate and collect the biggest amount of water possible. So first I thought about sponges and than corals and other form of sealife as it also reflects that the device works with seawater.
Functionality
Based on the consumer insight research what people want is the less technical interaction and the more emotional interaction. So I want to make the refill part very easy – so maybe it would be best if the bottled seawater could be attached directly to the appliance (not refilling a tank every day). But I want to make sure you get connected to SEAbreeze in other ways to relax and heal yourself while using it.
Emotion
Inspired by last years Design Lab competition and the relaxing effects used in the salt caves I focused on senses – lights and colours, sounds, surfaces and smells. Lighting will be very important and I want to create a unique atmosphere with it as well as use it functionally. For inspiration I searched for images and objects used for meditation.

I will put some effort in designing the bottle for the seawater too because we shouldn’t forget that SEAbreeze is not just a product but part of a service.

Now I will start to prepare for submitting for the next stage. Hope you will like it.

  • Sketches – Efficiency, functionality and emotion
  • Sketches – Efficiency, functionality and emotion
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