Design Week recently asked me “What is your favourite piece of industrial design & why?” for a voxpop as part of World Industrial Design Day on 29th June.
“A difficult question as so many are my favourite, from the purity of form of Richard Sapper and Mario Zanuso 1969 Brionvega tv, the obligitory Ram’s right up to Sam Hecht’s Bell alarm clock or the unibody designs of recent Apple products.
But for today I’ll have to say my favourite piece of industrial design has to be the Sony Clié T400 PDA from 2001. It’s not necessarily regarded as a design classic, it probably won’t show up at MOMA or the Design Museum but for me it really exemplifies what industrial design is all about. Bringing together elements of brand, technology and the needs of people in an object that has that magical ability to stand out at point of sale, embody the brand in physical form and ultimately delivery a delightful product experience.
The craftsmanship and detailing of the T400 shows a true master at work, raising functional elements to a level of technological jewellery. Even now, after 10 years my excitement at this piece of industrial design is undiminished. Although I seem to remember the stylus did keep falling out, but I guess nothings perfect.”
The Clie T400 was by Tetsu Kataoka who worked at the Sony Design Centre until 2004.