German design student builds electricity-free kitchen appliance
German eco-social design student Manuel Immler has recently completed an electricity-free kitchen appliance prototype that features a hand-powered crank drive. Dubbed Pino, the simple yet effective kitchen appliance is designed to enable electricity-free, human-powered kitchen tasks, such as whisking, beating, mixing and grinding.
The masters project was inspired by Immler's desire to create a sustainable and responsible design that helps reverse the negative impact commercial production has on the planet.
“Today we are experiencing faster than ever before how human action destroys the livelihoods of animals, plants and therefore also of humans,” says Immler. “Our growth-oriented economy has produced an incredible production machinery that consumes more resources annually than our planet can provide. For this project in eco-social design, I have chosen to answer the question; how can I, as a designer contribute to a sustainable world?”
Committing to this project for his master's thesis, Immler came up with his kitchen appliance concept, with the goal of illustrating how eco-design can help minimize energy consumption, transportation, waste and consequential negative environmental effects.
The Pino device is built using a series of locally sourced CNC cut wooden panels, a cast iron base, brass gears, and sheet steel used to complete the inner construction elements. Incorporating a traditional crank drive and flywheel, the appliance is powered by the user simply turning the handle.
The inclusion of three different gears allows the machine to achieve smooth, fast speeds, within a range of 50 to 1,000 revolutions per minute, with gear modes able to be changed by turning the wooden dial located on the top of the unit. The Pino appliance is therefore capable of completing a variety of tasks, such as grinding, stirring, mixing, beating, squeezing, grating and whisking, in a short amount of time.
“Examining eco-design strategies shows many possible ways to reduce the impact of consumer goods,” says Immler. “The Pino concept bundles these approaches and is thus a particularly long-lasting mechanical kitchen tool, that is locally produced. The raw materials are also taken from the local region or from existing material cycles.”
The Pino prototype and technical components were constructed in the campus workshops at the University of Bolzano, Italy, and the following video shows it in action.
Source: Manuel Immler Design (German)