Thomas Thwaites

The Toaster Project
2009

The Toaster Project chronicles an attempt by Thomas Thwaites to make an electric toaster from scratch - literally from the ground up. Starting with digging up the raw materials from abandoned mines around the UK, then attempting to process them myself at home, and finally forming them into a product that Argos sells for only £3.94.

My toaster cost £1187.54, and took me nine months to make. It's an electric appliance that disavows the infrastructure on which it relies. A convenient item that rejects the convenience of consumerism. A mass produced domestic product, 'manufactured' on a domestic scale. Its contradictions serve to highlight the amazing efficiencies of modern capitalism, but also to question our current trajectory.

Thomas Thwaites designer, futurist and communicator, striving to find new perspectives on technology. His design work examines how technology, science and economics interact with trends, fictions and beliefs, to shape our present society, and possible futures. He has studied biology and economics in London which informs his design work. He completed his Masters in Design Interactions at the Royal College of Art in 2009. His work has since received several awards and is exhibited at galleries and museums all over the world, recently including the Science Museum in London, and the National Museum of China, Beijing. His first book, The Toaster Project, is published by Princeton Architectural Press, and he is filming an accompanying television series based on the project for Channel Four.