Made from natural and approachable materials, the Bao Toaster’s honest form seeks to demystify the common household toaster.
Bao introduces a sense of tactility back into the toaster. Anything made of metal that cooks with heat is regarded with caution. Why make an object that people are afraid to touch? Bao is handmade from ceramic, which is more heat resistant than metal and will warm up slowly, becoming comfortable to touch when toasting bread. As a result, the toaster becomes more enjoyable to use. It becomes an object of comfort - similar to your favourite coffee mug.
Shown at IDS West 2012 as part of the Future Masters exhibition
For many people, toasters are an essential appliance and a part of their daily routines. However, with most modern toasters, the human interaction is lost. Bao aims to bring back the quiet experience of breakfast, affording the opportunity for people to slow down and reconnect with the way in which they make their food.
By making the toaster more transparent, users are able to understand exactly what is happening to their bread. Taking cues from traditional "baby-sit" toasters from the 1930's, users toast one side at a time. Not only is this a unique way of interacting the appliance, it also brings the toast farther away from the element, reducing the chances of burnt fingers. A cork timer cuts the power after a specified time so even forgetful users can safely use Bao.