Energy saving innovation

Wellington industrial design student Joshua Unwin’s innovative Pull Dry invention has put us into a spin!

It provides a washing and drying solution that allows for transporting, washing and drying without electricity and earned him up runner-up status at the recent the recent 2023 James Dyson Award. We caught up with Joshua to find out more about his invention.

How does it work?

The Pull Dry is an electricity-free clothing washer/dryer system, made from a water barrel and rope configuration. Using a uniquely efficient method of movement and centrifugal force, the barrel can be made to spin extremely fast. For washing, a rope is threaded through the barrel, allowing it to spin freely and tumble-wash the clothing. For drying, four strings are attached to help to spin the barrel The rope can also be used to pull the barrel behind, which acts as both a tumble washer and method of transportation.

What was the inspiration behind the invention?

Washing and drying clothing can be difficult for people who have no access to electricity or have limited water or space. The idea started after I had difficulty drying my clothes in my small apartment, and I realised that there needed to be a solution that was faster and took up less space. After initial prototypes of the spinning design, I realised that this idea could be used in other parts of the world to improve the lives of people whose situations are significantly worse than my own – with no access to electricity and limited water and space. As a designer, I am driven to improve people’s experiences in a sustainable way.

Where do you see a use for this design?

There is not yet a solution for this unique problem set. I can see this design being used predominantly in less developed communities, in densely populated areas that may have limited water, limited space and no access to electricity. It would allow people to wash and dry clothes more efficiently, with less effort and taking less time. The James Dyson Award is about designing something that solves a problem, and I believe that this is a problem that is experienced by many people on a daily basis. I think that designers like myself can make a positive impact by maximising functionality of designs and inventions while minimising the environmental impact and ultimately helping to improve people’s lives.

Now that you’re a runner-up, what are your plans for your invention?

Being a James Dyson Award national finalist has validated my design and, it feels like the idea I put forward is important enough to be worth pursuing and pushing further into development. Being a reputable international award, it also serves as an amazing platform to gain exposure as a designer. My plan is to further develop Pull Dry through market testing and batch production, which if successful, will lead me to seek out suppliers and partners to help bring this idea to life.

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