'swirl' by designaffairs studio
'swirl' by designaffairs studio 'swirl' by designaffairs studio
feb 04, 2010

'swirl' by designaffairs studio

‘swirl’ being used as a ball, while washing clothes through its rotations

in developing countries, the simple act of doing laundry requires a lot of effort. major problems are distant water supply areas and bad ergonomics for washing and the burden of transporting heavy loads to and from the water source.

‘swirl’ designed by designaffairs studio, focuses on simplifying this task. the overall design resembles a ball containing a swirled sphere shaped basket and lid, connected to a steel tube handle. through a simple interface, laundry becomes easier and faster, accomplished through the rotation of the ‘washing ball’, using the long distance travel to and from water supplies to wash the clothes. the embossed pattern surface structureĀ  helps result in a more efficient and thorough cleaning of clothes achieved by rolling ‘swirl’ back and forth in slow rotations, or using its spherical shape for play.

at home, with the lid off, it acts as a clothes basket. once full, the lid should be screwed on and the handle locked in. transportation can easily be done by pulling or pushing the handle. once arriving at the water source, the basket should be filled with water and garments are then ready to wash.

this product aims to enhance a social cultural relationship between women and children, making washing a fun and easy experience. the spherical design allows it to become a whimsical object which stimulates the user’s imagination on how to play with it, making laundry easier and more fun with a few easy steps. when it is not being used as a clothes washer, ‘swirl’ functions as a water barrel.

it functions as a laundry basket, clothes washer and water barrel

how it works

the various components

  • sweet ! great concept and quite fun šŸ˜€

    Leonardo says:
  • did you SERIOUSLY publish a soccer-ball/washing-machine?
    don’t you have any ethic at all that you wouldn’t feel ashame to publish a striped plastic ball that is meant to wash clothes in third world countries?
    are you that desperate about design?

    matthieu says:
  • Totally agree with Matthieu… Seems like there is no more filtering in what is being published on design blogs these days…

    Leon says:
  • Personally, I’m glad you published this. It’s great to see design concepts being used in ways that have potential to better the world instead of pretentious lamps and weird chairs that no one can afford in the first place.

    Adisson says:
  • why is a problem that this is being shared?
    not so long ago at the cooperhewitt museum in new york they had an exhibition called design for the 90%
    it was great, and actually had a lot to do with design because people who make things like this or the life straw really think about how their design is going to impact the lives of others.
    personally to me it shows the level of maturity of these designers, they’re using they design talent to make something for the greater good.

    rawr says:
  • this is brilliant!!

    vibenade says:
  • what a…
    did you sincerely research about the developing countries??
    did you research about related projects already exist??
    what is the material of that ‘beautiful ball’??
    you really think that, like description??

    too many question.
    but you have many friends above..

    vkiuuty says:
  • I have nothing against the idea, but the target market and the photos used to sell it are very patronising. I just looked up the designers, they are white, middle class, middle aged males running an advertising company.
    What a surprise…

    watson says:
  • what, you mean those guys wouldnt use this thing themselves? You mean, they have a (female) maid?
    who’s from…where?
    no, you got to be kidding me..

    LOL says:
  • anyone remember marcel wanders ‘gold soup cans for the homeless’?

    vagrant says:
  • This is what is going on in design now. This is what is being taught in the most demanding design schools, I know, I’m in one. The concept is “leapfrogging”. Solutions for the third world that don’t emulate the developed world (build a dam, supply electricity and indoor plumbing, sell washing machines to people who can’t afford them) but address third world situations directly. This builds on an idea in “Design for the other 90%” of a rolling ball water carrier to prevent women’s neck and back injuries, but at least one iteration of that idea was too expensive. What matters with this design is: How much does it sell for in the target market? And, what happens to that lovely shiny finish when it rolls over sand and gravel for a couple of hours with 50 or 100 pounds of water in it? Other than that, it’s an absolutely brilliant idea.

    Exxtremitie says:
  • hey, couldnt we just build a skateboard into these things and…
    hey presto!
    who needs electricity, we’ve got frog-boarding!

    get a grip says:
  • seen this concept already by Whirlpool USA in the myriad of concept illustrations they have..

    louis says:
  • This is beautiful and a great functional concept. I appreciate this used in other countries and maybe even In the states, Energy efficiency is always good and something Americans need to learn to adapt to.

    MLM says:
  • build it 1:1 as it is on the rendering and give it to one of the so many prayers. please! and donĀ“t forget to film the playing children.

    Pardon says:
  • Exxtremitie, I just looked up your ‘demanding design school’, its also run by white, middle class, middle aged males running an advertising, oops sorry, ‘education’ company
    …and selling it to kids like you

    bitofpaper says:
  • these things have been around for years

    camper says:
  • seriously, these guys have never done any washing in their life…

    peter says:
  • Love it! I use a sweet little hand-crank washing machine – am a sustainability instructor who thinks about the supporting systems and consequences behind everyday actions we take for granted. Interesting comments about who is designing and the intended users, but in the end, I appreciate design that solves practical and serious problems creatively.

    What I think is interesting is this: the assumption that this is or should be a developing world product. Is that because those outside of the developing world wouldn’t consider making any adjustments in their own overall energy consumption or changes in lifestyle in order to contribute to a better world for all? The largest energy consumers would have the greatest impact if they adjusted their own “needs.” What if this were found to be useful by folks who need it in developing world and marketed as well to those using most of the resources anyway, but like it? So subsidize it like One laptop Per Child did.

    This is not a new concept, but an interesting iteration. Would love to see more functional items that we all take for granted, run by human power, designed creatively and marketed to those of us who can afford to ignore global energy or water issues but decide not to. I agree with MLM.

    arpnm says:
  • agree with arpnm .. this could actually be a product emerging in new developing countries as well as any other country … ! This is a design that would create a good change for a hard future…
    anyway there would be some details to investigate, specially material wise. but the concept is great.

    camper – this is now a water troley, this is a washing machine! please at least read the post ! lol

    Johan says:
  • Johan, was lol a reference to LOL’s comment?
    and…would you seriously use that thing?
    or maybe ‘no, not me personally, but its probably okay for “them”‘

    Bono goes camping says:
  • love it…would be easier in Africa

    i says:
  • hey Bono,
    I would use it because I have a washing machine but if I had to walk 20 km to do my laundry and hand wash it U bet I would use it !!! you would rather wash it by hand right??

    Johan says:
  • spelling mistake … I wouldn’t use it …because I have a washing machine but if I had to walk 20 km to do my laundry and hand wash it U bet I would use it !!! you would rather wash it by hand right??

    johan says:
  • matthiew> do you have any better idea? have u spent time designing something better to improve low SEL people around the globe? and that tries to re-link children with their moms, which is the base for many social development and anti-crime programs? Guys, at design affairs studio: how can we help the implementation of a project like urs?

    Carlos says:
  • Hey guys, just finish looong discussion. you know why it,s so agree stripe coluer design.and why african people must roll washing machine.. because this idea is Bad second article .
    the original idea is everytime symple. it,s named Hippo Water Roller Project . useful and beautiful one.
    I,m desgner, I can recture how you judge original or copy. the copy maker try to camouflage the trace of origne by adding unnecessary detail,function design,coluer , etc.. Because they know who is original.. I,m sure designaffairs studio found this original one before. Ok they can say Its not copy, its washing ball.inspired idea. but for me It, stuppid joke. They dont have respect for orgine. I advice Design boom to check in the net before publish ,its a original or no ,,,, sometime I have found agree copy in your sit.
    anyway, designaffairs studio is chinese studio?

    Eli says:
  • idea molto inteligente, COMPLIMENTI

    margherita says:

    BUHO1122 says:
  • paxman vs sting…gold..!

    gordonbennett says:
  • that is šŸ™‚

    ooozer says:
  • Ever tried to kick a ball of that size filled with water and clothing? Good luck….

    CDP says:
  • hey Eli, your site is actually really interesting. Has designboom featured that?

    justcurious says:

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