Product Design, Critical Design
Zenrack seeks to redefine the dishwashing experience and create accountability between housemates.
When dishes are placed on the Zenrack, tranquil music will start playing to encourage the user to continue to wash dishes. Music will continue to play as the user continues to place dishes on the rack. After all dishes are done, the music will stop. As water drips down from the dishes, it waters the bed of moss beneath the rack.
Zenrack was created as a group project within Critical Making at UC Berkeley.
Our task was to re-design something in the kitchen. Our team started out by physically sketching out our kitchens in order to think through where we spend our time and what problems arise.
As college students living in shared apartments or co-ops, we found that one issue we all faced was that of equal dishwashing among roommates. How do we use technology to incentivize dishwashing in a way that is eco-friendly and easy to implement?
Zenrack was created as a way to use nature to incentivize dishwashing. If no one does their dishes, the moss doesn't receive water and dies. The moss visually represents the roommate's responsibility to their fellow house mates.
How it works
Moveable crossbeams embedded with force sensitive resistors sit across an acrylic box to support a variety of dishracks. A separate compartment houses the electronics to keep them dry.
A moisture sensor keeps track of moss conditions. This is hooked up to an array of LED lights so that if the moss is amply wet (dishes are done often), the light glows blue. If the moisture levels are okay, the light is orange. If the moss is dry (dishes haven't been done for a while), the light shines red.