20 Everyday Objects
White plastic toaster. Its surfaces are smooth and all edges and corners are rounded.

Pop–up Toaster

Designed by
Naoto Fukasawa (born 1956)
Plastic, chromium-plated steel, rubber
Produced by
Muji, Toshima, Tokyo, Japan
19.5 x 15.5 x 24.5 cm

The Liliane and David M. Stewart Program for Modern Design, gift of S. Bernard Paré, 2017.3

Fukasawa’s toaster design for Muji perfectly conforms to the mandates of Good Design at midcentury: a minimal, unadorned design clearly expressing its function. Fukasawa explained that he built the object around its function: “In order to toast the bread so that the inside’s moist and the outside’s crunchy, there needs to be a certain distance between the heater and the bread. . . . Also, if the outside of the toaster isn’t constructed to a certain thickness, it’ll get hot.” This along with its flat sides meant the form of the toaster served for safety, performance, and efficient storage.

The toaster was introduced by Muji in 2015, along with a kettle. The sleek products are reminiscent of Apple products of the same period of time.