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toaster typewriter is a breakfast machine that burns letters onto bread

clay and wire letters for ritika kedia’s toaster typewriter

Ritika Kedia’s Toaster Typewriter burns letters onto a piece of bread using heat-resistant wires formed as alphabets and embedded into food-safe clay boxes. The playful technology has three parts: the repurposed typewriter where the shaped wires and food-grade clay letters are placed, the interchangeable clay alphabets, and the recycled bread toaster that holds the bread while the user types their custom messages onto it.  Every bread the user makes, every key they press, every letter they arrange, they can create a custom breakfast or snack greeting using the Toaster Typewriter, maybe starting with ‘SOS’ after waking others up so early.

ritika kedia toaster typewriter humor design
custom clay letters lift up as typewriter key is pressed



Design is too serious, says ritika kedia


Designer Ritika Kedia looks into the role of humor in design. ‘Design is too serious,’ she shares with designboom, and her Toaster Typewriter is the antithesis to that because she’s suggesting that the design industry and designers may want to bat an eye on humor. She’s inviting designers to infuse humor in what they do, similar to her Toaster Typewriter, an everyday machine used to toast bread now turned into a hybrid appliance that can exercise and tickle their imagination before their first sip of coffee or tea. ‘It is completely against user-friendliness and instead embraces user-absurdity,’ she says. And all the while, the user can still enjoy their toasted bread, just with added custom touch burned by letters made of food-grade clay.

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heat-resistant wires are shaped into Latin alphabets



15 weeks of research for ritika kedia’s toaster typewriter


The Toaster Typewriter isn’t just a reinvention of a toaster and a typewriter that Ritika Kedia took on when she woke up one day. It’s a research process spanning 15 weeks of investigating and understanding the role of humor in design and what future it has in everyday objects and technologies. Along the way, she interviewed 11 individuals from different fields and backgrounds, such as design, psychology, music, performance, acting, comic books, and storytelling, to understand the varied functions of humor in each discipline. Living in the meme era, where clips of parodies, skits and spoof rule, humor colors people’s lives and may help them be intrigued in a designer’s design, enough to know it better and care about it.

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side view of the Toaster Typewriter



infusing humor with design


Ritika Kedia says that through humor and absurdity, the Toaster Typewriter can help open dialogues for imagination. ‘It uses the design of everyday objects to jumpstart a series of what-if questions. Humor is an observation and a critique of the world around us. Fascinated by the applications of comedy in politics, science, storytelling, and education, this investigation envisions humor as a tool to help design become a medium for imagination, a coping mechanism, a catalyst for social change, and a facilitator for uncomfortable conversations,’ she says.

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Ritika Kedia repurposes old toaster and typewriter for the project

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view from above




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construction documents for the machine


view of the shaped wires embedded into clay


project info:


name: The Toaster Typewriter
designer: Ritika Kedia


designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: matthew burgos | designboom

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