Monday 11 January 2016

The Most Beautiful TV Ever: Samsung Serif

The Most Beautiful TV Ever: Samsung Serif

Samsung Electronics has for years been at the forefront of the television industry thanks to constantly pushing the edges of innovation and design. Today’s SUHD and UHD TVs are clearer, brighter and bigger than ever, in a form that’s incredibly thin.

But, at the same time, Samsung has never been afraid of shaking things up and dramatically rethinking everything about its TVs, especially when it finds the right partners. Enter the renowned French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, who have teamed up with Samsung to create Serif TV, a radically different approach to the user experience of TV.

Launching at the London Design Festival (Sept. 21-27), Serif TV is defined by its I-shaped frame—a serif font “I”, of course. Wider in the top and bottom, the unique shape gives the TV solidity, turning into furniture that is a part of the room, rather than disappearing into the walls. This is a TV that can sit on a flat surface, and that can hold vases, books, or other decorative objects on top. The TV even has attachable legs, allowing it to sit comfortably and prominently within the home.

It’s been three years since Samsung approached the Bouroullec brothers about working together on televisions. It was the brothers’ first foray into electronics, and over that period, many concepts were tried out and models built, until they at last came up with Serif TV. “From the outset of designing Serif TV our aim was to craft an object that fused technology with our knowledge in furniture design and to create a solid presence that would sit naturally in any environment,” said Erwan.

Not only has the frame been drastically redesigned, but the back is very different, too. Now a woven fabric panel covers the back of the TV, concealing the connectors and wires.

Ronan and Erwan didn’t just redesign the outside of the TV; they even redesigned the user interface, coming up with an abstract but enticing setting called “Curtain mode.” Curtain mode takes whatever is being shown on the screen and blurs it, transforming it into shimmering abstract shapes like a digital curtain.

In addition, they created a new remote control device that also reflected their design approach.

“In every aspect Serif TV could only come into existence by artisan spirit and the project has been truly meeting of passions between Samsung and the Bouroullec’s,” said Yun-Je Kang, head of the design team in Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.

Although the Bouroullecs are more known for designing furniture, lifestyle accessory and art installations, Serif TV appears to have made a big splash in the design world. Fast Company’s popular website Co.Design called it a “design masterpiece” and “the most beautiful TV ever.”

The Serif TV went on sale in the United Kingdom, France, Sweden and Denmark beginning November 2, 2015. It is available in three sizes (40-inches, 32-inches and 24-inches) and in three colors (ivory white, dark blue and red).

Samsung has teamed up with great designers before to come up with cutting edge and unusual concepts in TV. It partnered with Giorgio Armani in 2008 for the Armani/Samsung LCD TV, then with artist Yves Béhar in 2009 for the abstract, high-tech installation “Anima Terra” at the Art Institute of Chicago, and again with Yves Béhar earlier this year for an 82-inch, extra-wide-screen curved SUHD TV.

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