Flat Pack Toaster Offers An Eco-Friendly Approach To Consumer Electronics

Flat Pack Toaster Offers An Eco-Friendly Approach To Consumer Electronics
Design

The assembly kit is built on the belief that consumers should be able to repair their home appliances

Leo Lutero
  • 27 july 2017

Damage to many home electrical appliances means either getting something out of the warranty or having to replace it. This wasteful behavior is the inspiration behind Kasey Hou’s flat pack toaster, a concept that can change the way we deal with broken electronics.

Hou told PSFK that, unlike a regular toaster, her version does not have a pop-up mechanism. Instead, the Product Design student wanted to redesign the common household appliance so it would be very simple to build. After all, no one can expect every user to assemble a complicated piece of equipment. Once Hou created a working toaster, she packaged it flat to let the buyer assemble it at home.

This build-it-yourself approach has one important impact on the consumer. “If you can assemble the toaster from scratch, you will feel more comfortable and confident to repair it since you’ve already known the structure of the toaster and how it works,” Hou said.

The toaster is a perfect starting product for this idea. A trip to a local charity shop showed Hou just how regularly people dispose of toasters and hair dryers. According to the United Nations, up to 50 million tons of electronic waste is dumped yearly, and the EPA estimates recycling rates sit at a dismal 12.5%. The chance for buyers to understand how their appliances work and for repair at home to become possible can be a great step towards cutting down on waste.

Hou told Dezeen that she now has plans to bring her toaster to market. However, revisions to the current design must be implemented to make it safer to build and use.

The success of websites like iFixIt are a testament to how much people are willing to tinker with electronics, largely to save money. With a deeper understanding of how things work and the availability of parts, we can stop dumping entire appliances when all it needs is a simple tweaking.

Kasey Hou

Damage to many home electrical appliances means either getting something out of the warranty or having to replace it. This wasteful behavior is the inspiration behind Kasey Hou’s flat pack toaster, a concept that can change the way we deal with broken electronics.

+consumer electronics
+Design
+dezeen
+home
+home appliances
+Interview
+Public
+Repair
+retail
+Sustainability
+Sustainability
+technology
+toaster
+work

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