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Design for Repair: Teakettle Craft Project

Posted in Models, Research by Kate Archdeacon on August 11th, 2011

Source: Fast Company‘s Co.Design

Photos: Jean Baptiste Fastrez

From A Series Of Teakettles, Merges Craft and Mass Production by Belinda Lanks:

Like so many generic office towers, electric teakettles (standard in European households) soak up precious real estate without offering the slightest bit of aesthetic value. The Parisian designer Jean-Baptiste Fastrez wants to change that, by creating one-of-a-kind teakettles, with the help of artisans and a few mass-produced parts. For his “Variations Upon a Teakettle” project, Fastrez merged the industrial and handmade, combining standard-issue electric parts, which meet safety and heat regulations, with beautiful, artisan-crafted vessels. In his words: “In opposition to the industrial ideal (an object for all) is a more human and sustainable production: something for everyone.” The project is a touch profound — demonstrating how craftspeople can still add lasting value, despite all the trappings of modern production.

If an electric teakettle can be assembled from off-the-shelf (OEM) heating elements as well as handmade vessels, then these separate components can be repaired or replaced if they are damaged or when the owner’s taste changes.  That would be an enormous improvement on the current system, where mass-manufactured kettles are very difficult to repair and are usually thrown away. Kate A

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