As I get ready to start my Thanksgiving cooking, I can’t help but wonder if I’m missing out by not having Christoph Thetard’s foot-pedal-powered kitchen appliance at my disposal. A giant pedal-powered flywheel generates enough energy to operate assorted attachments: a blender, a coffee grinder and a “kitchen machine” (which appears to be approximately equivalent to a food processor). The flywheel is housed in a beautifully crafted wooden frame, which also includes compartments to store the attachments when they’re not in use.
Student designer Thetard’s objective for this product — which is still just a concept — is to reduce electricity use in the kitchen and therefore help us reduce our personal carbon footprint. John Pavlus, in his Co.Design blog post, asks interesting questions about whether the energy required to build and transport this heavy wood-and-metal appliance would cancel out the savings that would come from avoiding the use of plastic parts, eliminating the need for electric power and creating a product with some serious staying power.
I have to agree with his conclusion, though, in which he applauds Thetard for challenging us “to at least question the environmental impact of everyday products.” I know I will be, as I chop, measure, mix and bake for the next 24 hours.
See more photos of the pedal-powered kitchen appliance on Christoph Thetard’s website.