7×7: 1: How To Make Tea Using a Pulley

Incorporating an artifice into a mundane daily task.

Introduction: We have been reading a lot about technology “taking over” and about the “artificial” increasingly blending with our definition of the “natural.” I wanted to play on the idea of how our every day, mundane tasks can be taken over by a machine or some kind of man-made system. My goal is to create 7 objects in 7 days that somehow transform my routine tasks into a machine controlled activity.


-I must make a tangible object using something that is in my apartment. No budget!

-The final object must be incorporated into one of my mundane daily tasks.

-There must be a video documentation of me using the object.

Project 1: How To Make a Cup of Tea With a Pulley System

One thing that I do almost every day is drink tea. Making tea is a fairly straight forward, easy task that anyone can do. I wanted to explore how I can insert an element of an artifice, a mechanical object, into a simple act such as making a cup of tea.

Result: YouTube video below + screen shot of video


Materials used and their limitations:

I used an erector set and elastic bands to set up a crane with a pulley system that would allow me to dip a tea bag into a cup of boiling water. As I have often experienced, erector sets are not very stable due to the poor quality of knots and b0lts. I had to improvise and use some wire to keep the object together. I also had to hold on to the base of the crane when it was being used so it didn’t lose its balance.

Permanent link to this article: http://interface2011.coin-operated.com/2011/09/7x7-1-how-to-make-tea-with-a-pulley/

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