This might actually bend the definition of “refrigerator” a bit, but it’s still a neat idea: Industrial designer Yuriy Dmitriev submitted the above concept for a zero-energy fridge to the Electrolux Design Lab competition, where it won a semifinalist spot. Dmitriev’s design consists of a pool of green, luminescent polymer gel not unlike Nickelodeon Gak™ (though to the best of our knowledge, it is not, in fact, made of Nickelodeon Gak™), into which you can press foodstuffs to store them in a gel that preserves them from decay. In theory, pressing the food into the Bio Robot Refrigerator creates a separate storage capsule for each item.
The practical and environmental benefits of the proposed appliance are clear: At one-fourth the size of a conventional refrigerator, “the refrigerator can change shape depending on the intensity of its use” and can be stored upright or on its side, making it a good fit for compact living. Moreover, it would be zero-energy and totally silent.
Less of an easy sell: The feasibility of the design both to keep food fresh and to keep you from having a very smelly Gak-fridge, and the undeniable ick factor of seeing your food swirl around in green goo. At that, it’s refreshing to see designers think outside the box: The icebox.