Relaunch of Braun Audio in 2020.
After discontinuing the Braun Audio line in 1988, Braun relaunches it's iconic HIFI-Series, which has immensely contributed to the legacy of Dieter Rams.
How can the principles of value-driven design from the dieter rams era be translated into 2020, where the amount of interactive and digitals products has largely increased and production technology has overcome many limitations?
The legacy of Dieter Rams Braun Audio is still very much alive in contemporary aesthetic preferences of design-savvy audiophiles, even though the classic designs were less famous for their terrific audio quality, but for their minimalistic approach to integrating technical products into the living space. As music consumption has culturally immense transformed itself through the 2000s and 2010s, experiencing music has been an affordable staple in our lives and widely democratize. In comparison to the iconic Braun speakers and systems, some of which cost as much as a small car, not only have streaming services transformed the listening experience into a commodity, but also have music systems become cheaper and smaller. Modern battery technology makes listening on the go possible, and noise-canceling makes music more personal and introspective.
A relaunch of a classic brand, which influenced many designers and which heritage is very visible in many of today's designs, has to consider both – the history and the current state of technology and listening habits alike. Dieter Rams Audio components where designed in a time where production technology was far more limited, while the contemporary aesthetics in technology design resembles much of the orderliness and geometric simplicity invented in the 1950s in Frankfurt, Germany.
Large detachable battery
The WIFI-Speaker can be used as a surround and multi-room system. With evenly distributed sound, the external battery can last up to 120 hours of playing time. That's only charging once a month with four hours of playing time per day. As your Braun WIFI-System can be expanded and configured individually, you can also replace the speakers front cover with a variety of high-quality fabrics from FEBRIK.
To make sure the speaker fits into any living situation it is designed for maximum variability. It can lay flat, stand on a shelve or table, and can be attached to the wall.
"A good product is like a good friend."
One of the most important innovations in the classic Braun designs was to introduce technical objects to the home interior and set a high benchmark on how these objects can do so without adapting the aesthetics of the 1950s furniture designs. Even though the large sound systems and speakers where clean and comparably cold, they provided a solution to product longevity, as many speakers were used longer than a common piece of furniture. Interestingly, as stated in Dieter Rams ten commandments, this did not happen by accident, but was a well-thought effect of the geometric and utilitarian design.
Audio equipment of today has dramatically decreased in product life-time, and so have the product aesthetics change to resemble fashion more than pursuing a more timeless approach. Shortened functional life-span by implementing batteries that wear out over time and cannot be replaced goes hand in hand with companies aiming for short consumptions cycles on hard-ware, as the product itself, music, has already been transformed into a service.
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