• Maintenance and repair
    Maintenance and repair
  • Packaging
  • Water tank
    Water tank
  • Detailled view of the drum
    Detailled view of the drum
  • View of the laminate
    View of the laminate
  • Water-circuit
  • Maintenance tutorials on l'increvable website
    Maintenance tutorials on l'increvable website
  • Poster
What It Does

A washing machine for life

The Inspiration

As far back as I can remember, I've always taken all kinds of objects apart, out of curiosity, in order to understand them, but also to repair them or even to transform them. I see dismantling as the first step toward playing an active role in the life of objects. But such activity conflicts with the planned obsolescence and systematic locking policies we witness every day in our smart phones, cars, washing machines, and so on. We are estranged from our objects, we only know them superficially and we are taught to discard them as fast as possible and without regrets.

Our daily lives prove that it is ever harder to keep an object for the long term. The lifespan of industrial objects is decreasing. Planned obsolescence dictates our consumption of objects, enables production but also increases it at will and grows the economy indefinitely, often in complete disregard of limited resources, consumers and the planet.

« L'increvable » (which means tireless or deathless in French) offers an alternative to the excesses of planned obsolescence. Under this name I reassess the condition of certain consumer goods which fit the concept of a stable object.

I define a stable object as an item that has not evolved much technologically or formally within a given period of time and that efficiently fulfills a timeless purpose.

The product I stabilize here is a washing machine. 90% of French households are equipped with a washing machine. This item meets the definition of a stable object perfectly, yet its average lifespan is quite short (around ten years). Its abrupt end of life is caused by irreparable failure, which means that the cost of repair is close to the cost of a new washing machine. This comes as no surprise when one takes a closer look at the way critical parts of the machine are designed: they are optimized for the most efficient and cheap factory assembly possible. This optimization is unilateral and penalizes the consumer.

How It Works

L'increvable meets precise specifications in order serve its user over a fifty-year period while guaranteeing a purchase price similar to or lower than that of a conventional washing machine.

The specifications must meet several challenges:
Maintenance and repair: the ten-year lifespan mentioned earlier is caused by irreparable failure, meaning that the cost of repair is approximately as high as the cost of a new washing machine.
Use: transportation during a move, for example.
Technical evolution: adaptation to future laundry detergents and to updated environmental standards regarding water and electrical consumption.


- The machine's lifespan is fifty years.

- The purchase price is lower than that of a standard washing machine, because the machine can be delivered in flat-pack form if the consumer is willing to assemble it himself or herself (IKEA style), which gives him/her the opportunity to get to know the machine. This is an economical option. The washing machine can also be pre-assembled: its price is then a standard one. A support service is also available for users who might need help during the assembly of their machine.

- The flat-pack option reduces the size of the packaging by 20%

- The weight of the washing machine is reduced for transport because the traditional 30 kg (60 lbs) of cement ballast are replaced by a water tank. The latter is automatically filled during the first use of the machine. This also means that the machine can be made lighter again when it needs to be moved.

- Maintenance is easy. The most common maintenance operation is carried out directly under the countertop of the machine. The washing machine communicates its maintenance needs via a clear and reliable interface. The user can consult the website of L'increvable and learn the necessary steps to maintain the machine.

- The machine can be personalized thanks to a laminate that can be replaced at any time to suit the taste of the user.

- The detergent dispenser and the command buttons are hidden behind a pivoting facade. This makes the choice of programs and the use of the detergent dispenser more ergonomic.

- The glass panel of the washing-machine door is designed to be opened either to the right or to the left, which allows for better integration into the living space.

- The machine can be adapted technically to meet evolving standards, either by means of software updates that integrate new programs or by replacing certain components.

- End of life: the washing machine is designed for a fifty-year lifespan. Once that cycle ends the machine is sent back to the factory: the panels are re-painted and even re-shaped, the glazed panel of the door is cleaned... and then the machine is sold for another fifty-year cycle.
Some components have an unlimited lifespan. The production of such components can be adjusted correspondingly. Once the necessary number of certain components has been manufactured, the industry could evolve into one of repair and refurbishing.
In a world with a growing population and dwindling resources, it is vital to preserve those resources, and intelligent management of industrial production is the first step toward that goal.

Stages of Development

The premise of this project was born out of broader research on the practice of dismantling objects, which I undertook for a Master’s thesis submitted in 2013. That work allowed me to explore and understand issues that were useful in laying the groundwork for the « Increvable » project.

This project is very comprehensive, and I wanted to work through each aspect of it to achieve the final consistent solution, be it from the point of view of its place in today’s industry and economy, of its use or of its design.

Some technical problems were difficult to solve, such as the replacement of the cement ballast by a water tank: the latter requires a larger volume for the same weight. This technical solution needs more extensive work to ensure that the tank is integrated in a reliable and efficient way in the machine's water circuit.

I designed the washing machine using 3D software.
I built a 1:1 scale model.


« L'increvable: a washing machine » was awarded a “Label de l'Observeur du Design” for 2015.

“Organised by the APCI (Agency for the Promotion of Industrial Creation) since 1999, the Label de l’Observeur du Design is a French design prize which rewards the year’s most exemplary creations that meet the criteria of innovation, improved user comfort, fulfillment of new needs, and respect of the environment.”