Reverse engineering proposal- Thesis & FMP -
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
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
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?
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
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.
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