Reimagining Household Chores

Students in Architecture, Foundation Studies, Industrial Design and Interior and Landscape Architecture participated in a series of special interdisciplinary courses focused on a future in which gadgets and machines help ease the burden of household chores. Structured around reciprocal presentations between students and Maytag designers, the Commercial Kitchen Studio, the Home Life/2020 Studio and the Laundry Studio each encouraged participants to expand their thinking beyond the limitations of current household technology and into the realm of groundbreaking ideas for creating the next generation of household appliances.

Final projects in each studio ended up being eye-opening, in terms of both the talent within the RISD community and the need for such innovative thinking in industry. A portable rugged clothes washer, electronic restaurant staff uniforms, and homes of the future with collapsible and mobile rooms were among the ideas that emerged from the semester-long studios.

Far from improbable, these concepts were grounded in in-depth research into human behavior, consumer preferences and technical capabilities. It may take a while before we can actually attach temporary guest rooms to the outsides of our houses, but it’s the interplay between creative concept development and real-world expertise that makes this type of relationship between industry and academia so fruitful.

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