Excellent industrial design student work: a non-electric toaster


I’m really impressed with the depth of research and reflection we’ve seen recently with ID student projects. Today we came across another great example, this one from France and called bread fork.

“This project raises a topical issue that concerns us all: the lifespan of our everyday objects,” writes Céline Deprez, an industrial design student at ENSCI. “I go in search of an object that represents this short lifespan while responding to a need that remains unchanged over time.”

After researching, Deprez settled on the toaster, finding it to be an everyday use item with an average lifespan of only 3-5 years. “Three quarters of French people have one, and in half of the cases if it breaks, it is thrown away,” she noted.

The obvious approach would be to design an easily repairable toaster. Deprez, however, dug deeper into the search and became unobvious. In the historical record, she found examples of toasters dating back over 200 years, which obviously predates electricity.

She then decides: “After a genealogy from the 1800s to the present day, I analyze how technical progress has interfered in the object. I take the side of robustness rather than repairability, by offering a low-tech toaster that works thanks to existing heat sources. of the house (the stove).”

Deprez then undertook a series of studies for shapes that could siphon heat from a stove and transfer it to bread.

“After dozens of toasters designed, the most rudimentary and robust model is the one made from a single piece of cast aluminum, with an enamel finish to make it food safe and easily cleanable. Enamel allows me a choice of color, the red which is part of the food universe.

The Deprez project won the Low-Tech award in the Aluminnov design competition, sponsored by the French aluminum industry. The jury wrote:

“Robust, practical and inexpensive, it is placed directly on the heat sources available in the kitchen. The body, made of enamelled aluminum casting, ensures thermal conductivity and distributes the heat evenly over the entire object. Stainless steel handles are on each side, allowing it to be moved at any time and in complete safety.Functional and design, bread fork is a relevant response to the planned obsolescence of household appliances. The jury particularly appreciated the elegance of the shape and the designer’s research work on warmth.”

That was in 2020. Today, Deprez, now a graduate, has started a design consulting firm with fellow ENSCI graduate Camille Chapuis. They are called Super Solide and you can see their work here.

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