You’ve seen the final designs and now it’s time to go in-depth with the winner of Electrolux Design Lab 2012. The Aeroball design was interesting based on the description but hearing Polish designer Jan Ankiersztajn talk about it, made the product that much more fascinating. Not only did he win €5000, he also gets a much-coveted, six-month paid internship with Electrolux that will no doubt provide him with invaluable knowledge for the future.

The winner Jan Ankiersztajn and Thomas Johansson (above)

Once he received the Electrolux brief, which was to design a product that explored the senses, Ankiersztajn began brainstorming and decided to come up with some type of air freshener or filter. He knew he wanted a simple product that did just one function and the Aeroball does just that. Describing it as a “flying vacuum cleaner,” he thought it would be intriguing — because who doesn’t dream of flying as a kid and who doesn’t like to watch things fly? The hovering action might just hypnotize you.

The product consists of a helium-filled balloon with a lightweight filter on the outside that balances itself out with the helium and the overall weight of the ball. It hovers and the more dust it collects, the lower it gets to the ground, signaling you that it’s full. Kind of like miniature Roombas for your air!

Ankiersztajn finishes school in February and then heads to Stockholm to begin his internship during which he’s most excited to learn a new way of thinking. He’s been studying architecture and design, but coming from a family of architects and architectural students, including his twin sister, he’s thinking that might be enough in one family. Plus, the entire Design Lab competition really inspired him to think about product design.

The designer himself

Thomas Johansson, Design Director of Electrolux

Electrolux’s Design Director, Thomas Johansson, weighed in on the competition (which began with over 1,200 entries from design students around the world) and after eight years working with the Design Lab competition, the students keep him inspired. Every year he’s surprised and amazed by the level of work and thought that goes into each student’s design. The competitors impress him so much that they currently have 4-5 of them on staff now at Electrolux.

You have to admit that the Aeroball is pretty fascinating and can see how it piqued the judges’ interests. Johansson said he loved it for its simplicity… that often times people try to overcomplicate products by putting too many functions into them but Aeroball performed just one function and didn’t require any external devices to work. It was just the product itself.

All photos via Electrolux. Thanks to Electrolux for hosting us in Milan for the exciting 2012 Design Lab finals.

What do you think of the winning design? Is it the one you would have chosen?