It seems like living in the 21st century would mean that we would no longer have to deal with mundane tasks like washing dishes. Even the best dish washing machines have trouble getting the dirt off sometimes. The brilliant solution from Swedish design studio Tomorrow Machine: dishes that clean themselves.
More accurately, the plate and bowl never get dirty at all. They are coated with a super-hydrophobic material like that found in nature on lotus leaves. The material repels water on the molecular scale, never letting anything actually stick to or completely touch the surface of the dishes. To wash them, all you have to do is tip the crumbs or leftovers off – you don’t even have to wipe them.
The dishes are tough enough that they won’t break when you drop them, and they are lighter than traditional ceramic plates. The project was commissioned by the Swedish Foreign Industries Commission. Their goal was to use natural materials in the making of futuristic objects that will not only make our lives easier in the future, but reduce humans’ effect on the planet.
“What will the future bring? How will materials from our forests be used in 20 years? Innventia commissioned Tomorrow Machine to design 3 demonstrators inspired by Ekoportal2035, a vision of the future that has forest-based renewable materials at center stage. The demonstrators show the possibilities offered by Innventia’s advanced bio-based materials.”
“The first item is a self-cleaning plate and cup made entirely out of cellulose. The plate and cup have a super-hydrophobic coating and therefore rejects dirt, like a lotus leaf. This means that it never needs washing. A product that not only saves resources during manufacture, but also when it is used because it does not need water and chemicals to be kept clean.”
“Is it possible to create flexible objects that can build and even destroy themselves? The second item is made from a cellulose-based plastic that is possible to 3D print. Using 3D technology, we will be able to print self-assembling objects, and even buildings with this plastic composite.”