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London Design Festival: Samsung Serif TV by Bouroullec Brothers

Modern Decor

Samsun Serif TV by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Anyone who assumed barely-there flat screen televisions were the last word in TV design will want to take note of Serif, a collaboration between electronics giant, Samsung, and French design duo, Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec.  Making its public debut at the London Design Festival this week, Serif is the culmination of a three-year endeavor during which, among other things, the Bouroullecs literally deconstructed several Samsung TVs to see ‘what happens inside the TV,’ eventually arriving at a predictably handsome, future-focused contemporary design—with a few surprising nods to the past.

Samsung Serif TV by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Samsung Serif TV in ‘curtain mode.’

The most notable thing about Serif is the conspicuous addition of a highly visible rectangular picture frame into which the TV screen fits—a direct challenge to the nearly invisible variety of contemporary TV profile preferred by design and media buffs. Though clean and slender in form, Serif’s frame is flattened at the top and bottom, yielding parallel shelf-like surface areas. As Erwan Bouroullec explains, “The flat surfaces at the top and bottom make it easy to carry.” And, presumably, creates a stable base at the bottom and usable storage space at the top. Typography geeks will want to know that the frame’s side view dissolves into a handsome letterform ‘I,’ a serif font, naturally, explaining the TV’s otherwise puzzling name.

Samsung Serif TV by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Samsung Serif TV with and without screw-on metal legs.

The Bouroullecs were aiming for old fashioned “furniture TV,” they say, a deliberate homage to an era when TVs were front and center, not flattened and hung on a wall. “We cut away the profile, framing the screen rather than trying to lose the edges, and it was interesting to see that people immediately began putting things on top of it,” says Erwan, while Ronan echoes, “As we were working I had this rather nostalgic memory of thick old TVs with lots of things on top of them.”

Samsung Serif TV by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Samsung Serif TV with screw-on metal legs.

Another win for nostalgia: when Serif isn’t comfortably sitting on a shelf, it can segue into a floor model via old school screw-on metal legs that ‘work better than anything else, they’re cheap to produce, and they hardly take up any room in the box so they also save on packaging.’ Not everything is mined from the past, of course. A more sophisticated interface, prominent apps, and a ‘curtain mode’ that pixelates images in favor of an artful abstract screen firmly place Serif in the 21st Century.

Samsung Serif TV by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Samsung Serif TV with and without screw-on metal legs.

Via Wallpaper

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