Sometimes life is all about a fresh start. Sometimes all one needs for a new perspective is the inspiration of another person’s actions.
One glance at Gaspard Tiné-Berès’ design work caught my attention, but it was as I learned more about his Short-Circuit trio of appliances and the affirmative business plan behind them that inspiration came.
It’s no news that our present throw-away culture produces literal mountains of waste, including kitchen appliances that are discarded, not because they’re worn out, but because of a crack in the housing, or the “patina” of extended use… or simply because the owner wants something different. In many cases the internal parts are either in good working order or could be easily repaired.
Tiné-Berès is concerned about this trend. This graduate of the Royal College of Art in London maintains that landfill sites are increasingly becoming sources of viable and perfectly working electrical and electronic components, a rich resource that could and should be utilized. And he’s done so.
“I’m investigating the business model based on the exploitation of such resources, starting from the existing solutions such as re-use center,” said Tiné-Berès. “I’m proposing a system that would bring together concepts such as local manufacturing, re-skilling of European labour, and upcycling.”
One of the results is the Short Circuit line. These appliances – a toaster, kettle, and coffee-maker – are crafted from re-used components and factory seconds, such as wine bottle and chemistry beakers. Because of its waterproof, anti-bacterial, and insulation properties, the main structure is made out of cork, a material that can be hand-shaped with simple tools, requires no mold for production, and can be changed, upgraded, or repaired as needed. When the useful life of the appliance is over, the majority of the components can be reused or recycled.
Currently the products are still prototypes, but who knows how little consumer interest may be needed to spark production? Just for fun, check out the video of Tiné-Berès’ Short-Circuit on Vimeo, or stop by his website to explore his other work.
Aren’t they the bomb? There’s so much potential here. What do you think? What other electronics would you like to see him tackle in the future?
Images courtesy of Gaspard Tiné-Berès