Title

Is it possible to make a cheap £3.99 toaster at a domestic scale?

 

Field of study

Science and its history : Use archives and historical research to study the main raw materials that compose the toaster.

Research and apply DIY, small scale pre-industrial making processes and common practice.

9-month time limit: No need to know everything. Rely on professional expertise to gather resources

Somewhere between critical design and engineering

 

Context

DIY and maker cultures promote domestic scale projects

Sustainability is a burning issue and global extracting and production firms are taking the blame for destroying the planet

Many have started to criticise our usefulness as good for nothing consumers.

Inspiration for the project. Praise of our collaborative achievements
“Left to his own devices he couldn’t build a toaster. He could just about make a sandwich and that was it.”
Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams, 1992

 

Rationale

A reflection on a consumer’s capability to be independent and if total independence is to be valued

Question the necessity of large scale production and the relationship between what we pay for a .product and the economics of the production process. Where is the real value of mass-produced goods?

 

Methodology/Methods

Identify the raw materials and conduct thorough research on where to extract them and how to process them.

Collaborate and reach out for guidance and expert advice

Experiment and be prepared for trial and error

 

Predicted Resolution

A very imperfect copy of the original toaster, hopefully functional.

Both success and failure will be a worthy source of debate on the scale at which we produce our surrounding objects.

 

Organisation

9-month limit:
1. Take apart the reference toaster and classify its components.
2. Choose to focus on a selection of raw materials
3. Investigate one by one each material and the means by which to extract, process and mould them.
4. Travel on site to collect each material
5. Proceed to manipulating each raw resource using the researched methodology. Go back to research if the process fails
6. Assemble the toaster