Disrupting the wash cycle with Miele

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The amount of time we dedicate to the more routine aspects of our lives gets taken for granted. Take household chores: nearly 10 years of our lives are spent dusting, tidying up, or doing the dishes. Now factor laundry into that work. Nearly 7-8 loads of laundry are sorted, washed, dried, pressed, folded, and stored a week. That’s an incredible amount of time for a task that occupies only the background of our lives. Can we ever get that time back, or have we grown too accustomed to the way things have always been done?


Trusted domestic appliance brand Miele has long assisted consumers through all those impossible-to-avoid tasks that pulse through our days, and they realized that when it comes to laundry, there’s definitely room for improvement. They began looking for a way to disrupt the wash cycle and change up the way we do laundry day-to-day.

And so, Miele approached jovoto and its crowd of creative professionals with Washful Thinking, an open call for new ideas and inspiration on how to do laundry. Participants were asked to consider how to integrate washing clothes with living spaces, come up new products and services, digital’s impact, and general cleanliness standards. Here’s the video that kicked things off:

As for the result, the numbers speak for themselves: 232 creatives from 41 different countries submitted a total of 145 ideas, most of which fell into five categories. They include new appliances, accessories, and functionalities; alternative washing and drying processes; new laundry care services and business models; new living space solutions; and new connectivity and communication options.

Along the way, the crowd received halftime feedback to help guide and shape their ideas. Feedback came in the form of a post and special webinar where jovoto’s Creative Strategist, Creative Guide, and Miele’s judges came together to offer an overview of the submission trends and directions, as well as present awards to the most accomplished ideas.

Washful Thinking came to an end with Romanian creative AlexNicolae winning for Ulti Mate, a single machine that covers every moment of the entire laundry cycle. Modules responsible for different phases of the cycle are combined to create one fluid system where clothes are washed, dried, ironed, folded, and stored automatically. Design also played a significant part, and the entire appliance is a sleek, minimalist wall unit.

Jury’s choice award winner: ULTI MATE by AlexNicolae (Romania)

Miele was so taken with Ulti Mate that it is now set to be prototyped. The brand found great satisfaction with the entire crowdstorm, too:

“The description of the real problems people have and the inspiring ideas lead to fantastic user stories and visions of laundry care in the future. The preparation of this project and the active support by the guide and the project leader during the whole project were excellent.”
– Bernhard Roth, Director of Research & Development, Miele

Other exciting ideas that were submitted include a washing machine that runs on steam, a robotic laundry assistant, and an app-run laundry service that gets the job done for you.


By collaborating with creative professionals through cocreation, Miele was able to source new ideas for devices that could breathe fresh life into day-to-day needs and tasks. Through Washful Thinking, they prove that innovation matters, and not just with “big” ideas. In fact, it’s when innovation is applied to basic and simple needs that it’s most radical – a lesson every company can take to heart. Even disruptions in cleaning can lead to true game-changers.

Find deeper insight and details on the cocreation process of Miele’s Washful Thinking in jovoto’s latest success story.

HEADER IMAGE © AlexNicolae

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anna Piazza
Anna Piazza

Anna is a digital nomad living the future of work today, traveling and working through the US, Italy, and Germany as a corporate storyteller.

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