In response to our increasingly throwaway attitude to home appliances, University of Edinburgh graduate Kasey Hou has created a flat-pack toaster designed for repair. Hou suggests that if people are able to construct their own electronics, they will have a better understanding of how they work, making them more likely to fix them rather than simply buy replacements.
The toaster itself has a pared-back design that makes it simple enough for anyone to build. For example, it features a manual pop-up function rather than an automatic one. The self-assembly format also enables it to be deconstructed for easier recycling when it does reach the end of its useful life.
The move towards self-assembly and designing for repair – a trend we’ve been tracking since our 2014 report Ethical Electronics – can be viewed as an evolution of the hacking movement, as highlighted in Design Democracy: Outsider. For further inspiration around this concept, see Adding Value: Long-Lasting Products and Designing Out Waste.