I saw this and immediately thought of Rube Goldberg. Wait, no, that’s not exactly right. I immediately thought of one of my childhood favourites, the game Mousetrap. But it all leads back to Rube Goldberg in the end. Because what else can you think, when you look at this incredibly involved machine whose sole purpose is to pop one kernel of popcorn at a time.

Yup, you read that right. Design students Laurent Beirnaert, Pierre Bouvier and Paul Tubiana created this one for ECALs Low-Tech Factory exhibition. What it does is take one kernel of popcorn at a time, run it through several motions, and pop it. It’ll even butter and salt it for you. One kernel at a time. Which is pretty neat, but not terribly practical if you’re also trying to, say, enjoy a movie with your popcorn.

How it works is a standard tea-light candle heats a solitary kernel of popcorn in oil. Eventually, that kernel bursts to become the fluffy white goodness we all know and love. It is then buttered and salted and ready to be eaten. It does require more human input than a device created by Mr. Goldberg would have, but it is pretty simple. That made it perfect for the Low-Tech Factory exhibition, no?

Obviously there is no pricing or availability on this, since it was a design project. I just thought it was kinda neat. If it does make it to production, it would be a unique complement to a nice office desk. Maybe even better than that Red Swingline.

Source: Laughing Squid

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