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As many engineers and designers are busily striving to churn out new objects with increased automation for optimal convenience, concepts like the Bao Toaster are thankfully still emerging. Studio Bup has worked to conceive this charming kitchen appliance with the goal of renewing the relationship between the consumer and his food.

What they've developed is a rethinking of the conventional modern toaster in favor of a ceramic box with a trapdoor and a whimsically warped heating element. Compared to metal, the clay-based body of the device feels much softer on the skin when hot and the coil's cartoony shape leaves a hint of an outline of an incandescent lightbulb on your bread. The Bao Toaster cooks one side of your slice at a time, requiring and enabling you to manually monitor and control the color and temperature of your meal.