Design + Business

Housewares Project





Understand why products are designed the way they are and use this understanding to design better ones. Analyze key product design issues, including:

  • major parts + construction

  • user interaction + experience

  • form + style

Define a coherent overall product form with complimentary details, user interface, and describe the required technology to make it work.


  • 3D Rendering

  • Orthographic Views

  • Presentation

  • Secondary Research

  • Physical Prototypes


Elevate the experience of preparing toast in the morning to that of performance art?

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The average toaster today consists of approximately 36 parts. Not only is this wasteful from a manufacturing perspective, it contributes to today’s throw-away culture due to the perceived headache of replacing a single defective part.


Bau reduces the requires the required components to just four key elements: the exterior thermo-conducive walls, the slotted interior walls, the electrical housing, and the elevator grate. This transparent design makes the product’s construction and operation readily understandable.


Context of use

Breakfast is one of the few meals we are permitted to enjoy in private. As such, breakfast ought to be a quiet, contemplative affair. Instead, just under 50% of Americans eat breakfast on the go (The Daily Meal, 2015) and over 10% skip breakfast entirely (NPD, 2011). Bau is designed to slow us down, encouraging us to indulge in moments of early morning delight, whether staring a slow swirl of coffee or observing the gradual browning of our toast.

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The split variable de-pressers allow the user to toast both sides at different levels of intensity, while the gradient LED lights provide a subtle, discreet indication as to desired level of toasting.

Feedback #2

By eliminating the presence of opaque exterior walls, the browning of the toast itself becomes the most direct type of feedback, relaying information about the process. The dual-layer thermo-insulated glass walls glow red when activated to prevent misuse when operational.

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Sketch of the finalized design



  • Functional

  • Geometric

  • Modern

  • Minimal

  • Simple

  • Industrial



  • Should, Might, Could

  • New Use Context

  • New User Interaction

  • POV #1: Transparent Toaster

  • POV #2: Portable Toaster

  • POV #3: Breakfast-in-bed Toaster


Foamcore Prototypes

  • Lever

  • Pull

  • Sliding Screen

  • Sliding Door

  • Sliding Tray

  • Pull Tab