Samsung Serif. Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s television

Televisions. They are bloody ugly things, aren’t they. As a nation, we love tradition—in our houses, our furniture, the way we celebrate holidays—but for some reason we love contemporary when it comes to cars and technology. I’ve never quite understood how this translates in the minds of people but it’s where we are.

Some people love the up-to-the-minute tech but hate the look of modern appliances, opting to hide them away in tasteful cabinets, fooling nobody that this is a television-free household. Hidden so well, that all sofas and chairs are pointing towards this veneered mahogany cabinet with textured brass handles and wires coming out of the back.

Okay, I may be a little cruel here but the television has got to be one of the worst looking objects in our living rooms, and for no good reason. We have some incredible designers, who can take any object and make it fit in to our lives like we couldn’t live without it.

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Enter Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec who have exclusively partnered with Samsung to create the Serif TV—a television that rethinks the way we view its standing in our homes. Breaking away from our obsession with ultra-flat screens, the Bouroullec¹s studied both the object and its interaction with the space around it.

Erwan Bouroullec says “From the outset of designing Samsung 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. We had the intuition that over the last few decades, screen design has been driven by developments in technology without much sense of our own culture and way of life; the design of Samsung Serif TV has been a conscious step away from this and forms a new form of technology that is dedicated to the domestic environment. 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.”

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The development process was driven by numerous drawings, computer renders and a series of mock-ups in wood and clay. These mock-ups were a decisive step into the research before starting with the advanced prototypes in the second stage. Many ideas were explored, and step-by-step they arrived with Serif…a TV defined by a frame that outlines the screen.

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Viewed from the front, the Serif TV is defined by a single, seamless frame, one colour and one shape. In profile, it forms a clear capital ‘I’ shape, its slim body broadening to form a shelf-like surface at the top. The design means it can stand seamlessly in the home by resting on its own base. Its attachable legs allow it to be placed on the floor or the centre of the room, allowing its placement to be moved and manipulated to suit the situation.

A woven fabric panel slots into place to conceal the connectors on the back of the television, making it work in three dimensions and room positioning. The pattern of the fabric, designed to emulate the effect of curtain mode, is colour matched to the colour of the TV. Samsung Serif TV is available in three colours: ivory white, dark blue and red.

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Designer: Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec
Manufacturer: Samsung
Year: 2015
Price: From £499.00

Daniel

Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started ateliertally.com as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.

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