Have you seen the Bouroullecs' new TV?
The brothers' Serif TV for Samsung is designed to fit into our homes like a piece of contemporary furniture
The problem with today's televisions is that their sleek, minimal finishes look fine in the showroom, or, say, screwed to the wall of an equally workmanlike business-class lounge, yet they often prove less aesthetically harmonious when we get them into our homes.
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullecs' new Serif TV for Samsung appears to have overcome this problem, by mimicking furniture design rather than customary consumer electronics.
As Ronan told Wallpaper* magazine, “instead of trying to make a TV ever thinner, trying to make it disappear, we decided to make it into a piece of furniture, like a chair – something that you can look at in the round."
In keeping with the short, decorative strokes at the end of the fonts of the same name, this new Serif TV flattens out at the top and the bottom like an I-beam, allowing the TV to stand alone on a bookcase or sideboard, as well as act as a shelf itself. The brothers have also hidden away the mess of wires at the back of the TV by adding a magnetic textile panel, which can be detached while you're wiring the Serif up.
They have revived the four-legged TV stand, with a set of detachable legs that can be screwed into the Serif base, and they've provided a simple, easy-to-use remote too.
However, the Bouroullecs not only oversaw the TV's physical design, but also its user interface, and they've added one or two neat flourishes here. Chief among them is a virtual 'curtain' – a coloured, featureless screen that the viewer can drop down at the click of a remote to obscure, say, the ad breaks during a live show.
These aren't the kind of design developments we would expect to see from a electronics giant like Samsung work and prove the Bouroullecs' atelier-style design practice can still find a place within global product design. The TV will be launched on 21st September at Somerset House in London as part of the city's Design Festival, and will go on sale in France, the UK, Sweden and Denmark, priced at around £600. For greater insight into the work of Ronan and Erwan take a look at our Bouroullec Brothers book here; and for more on brilliant European product design check out our Dieter Rams book here.