Hats off to Samsung, the Korean giant seems genuinely committed to exploring new and novel design when most every other major television manufacturer is content producing slight variations of the same black display. Earlier this year Samsung and the brand’s head of visual display design Yun-Je Kang partnered with Yves Béhar to unveil an immersive curved screen which literally put the display on a pedestal. Samsung is back with a second collaboration, again looking outside the world of technology to redefine the industrial design of the television to better coexist with the rest of the home.
French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec are renowned for their work in furniture and housewares, but they certainly wouldn’t be the first names to roll off the tongue when imagining television designers. And that was exactly the point of this follow-up collaboration. Samsung’s Yun-Je Kang notes “functionality” is not enough in this era of “emotional” attachments between user and technology. Thus, another new perspective outside the usual sphere of technology was invited to reshape the television from the inside out.
Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s Serif TV is different in almost every way compared to the television likely sitting on your living room console or hanging on your wall. Available in three colors in three modest sizes (24-, 32-, and 40-inches), with a rear panel covered in woven fabric to hide away unsightly power, HDMI, and other connections, the Samsung Serif TV is functional furniture, “an object that fused technology with our knowledge in furniture design and to create a solid presence that would sit naturally in any environment.”
Instead of the usual masculine black plane of the typical HDTV, the Serif TV’s presence is defined by a typographic-adorned profile, with the serif-adorned letter “I” visible from its side profile. Alongside this characteristic shape, the serif results in a shelf surface, perhaps hinting back to the era when generations of the past would place objects of the home and heart on top for display.
The French design duo was even permitted to reimagine the user interface, exploring more abstract transitional graphics to ease viewers between on and off modes. The set also is offered with attachable legs for additional placement options.
Serif TV does not belong to the world of technology but the world of furniture and design.
Samsung Serif TV deploys shapes and colours that have broken away from the usual themes of masculine, cutting edge technology and extra-large size. Our TV is more subtle; it doesn’t exude power and is made to fit into the world we live in. – Erwan Bouroullec
The surprise here is Samsung didn’t envision the Serif simply as a conceptual study, but has actual plans to offer their unique take on the television in November when the Samsung Serif TV will be available in the UK, France, Sweden and Denmark.
Update: The 40″ SERIF TV is now available for presale on Samsung.com and the MoMA Design Store, and will be available in August at high-end design-centric retailers including Vitra, Bo Concept NY and Ligne Roset stores in major markets for $1,499.