A possible household product of the future - a portable food heating device - was announced as the winner of Electrolux's 2010 Design Lab competition on September 23.

The competition focused on predictions that by 2050, 74 percent of the world's population would be living in urban spaces; entrants from around the world were tasked to design a household appliance that could be used in smaller domestic spaces. A total of 1,300 undergraduate and graduate design students entered, before being reduced to 25 semi-finalists and eight finalists.

On September 23 in London, a jury of design experts announced Peter Alwin from the National Institute of Design in India to be the overall winner. Mr. Alwin's design was 'The Snail,' a portable cooking device which operates on the process of magnetic induction. The device, designed to replace conventional bulky heating appliances, can be placed directly over a container such as a plate, pan or mug and heats the food using a high-density sugar crystal battery.

Designers are increasingly looking towards finding solutions to the future problems of urban living The Seoul international design competition from September 17 to October 7 also encourages international designers to submit household design concepts that can bring safety and convenience to increasingly crowded and eco-conscious societies.