Toaster Project Photo Credit Daniel AlexanderWhen I first I saw Thomas’s project on-line, it seemed funny maybe even frivolous — and there are humorous moments in his telling, like when he calls British Petroleum and tries to get a barrel of oil from them to try and make plastic — but below his near-futile exercise, is a thought provoking experiment about design, sustainability, consumerism, technology, and the environment.

Thomas Thwaites is a design student from The Royal College of Art in London. There is more information about this project at his site: The Toaster Project.

He and I talk about smelting iron in a microwave oven, trying to make plastic, and rubber, and the moment when he presented his toaster and first plugged the thing in …

A few more photos:
The toaster in the foreground and the equipment that Thomas used to build it. Photo by Nick Ballon.

I think this is a later version of the toaster. Photo by Daniel Alexander.

The toaster and the equipment used to make it with Thomas in the background. Photo by Nick Ballon