Managing Newness


Eight conceptual toasters of the near-future kitchen—imagining a circus stage where through technology, autonomous objects compete for our attention and evolve to meet human needs with parasitic and tribalistic behaviour. Managing Newness is a vision of an expanded internet-of-things pushed to the point of satire.

Principal Designer:

Leon Brown

Thesis Supervisor:

Geoffrey Mann

Video Assistant:

Alvin Chan

The home is a battleground for product superiority and attention of the human figure—and our objects are all in a losing battle against time—causing a crisis in over-consumption and wasteful ways of living, as we endlessly purchase and throw away appliances for the misdemeanours of being too old, too slow, or too unfashionable. 

Instead of having to force attachment to products which we do not enjoy using, Managing Newness was created as a showcase of potential appliances within our rapidly advancing internet-of-things that use artificial intelligence, weaponised technology, and parasitic behaviour, to compete for our attention from other deserving objects.

For the project I created eight toasters—the ultimate throwaway appliance—and together with a concept film, Managing Newness proposes a new theory on emotionally durable design, around an exploration of playful interaction and emotional connectivity. Managing Newness formed one half of my final year degree show project at the University of Edinburgh.

The basic design of this study is to create a body of objects exemplar to the theories of emotionally durable design, questioning the methods by which we interact with experiences in the home, and lay out for consumers a shape of things to come.
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