side by side its stunning.

i know there are no new ideas, but man.
plenty of people point to similarities between the ipod and braun’s radio, but all those side to side…

That is a great side by side comparison. I knew there where similarities on some details, treatments and silhouettes, but wow.

I’ve always felt the whole aesthetic fit in nicely with the retro trend. It just happens to be retro Modernist instead of a retro hot rod, or retro sneaker, or retro, warn hippie jeans.

Stuff like this is coming back though as culture begins to focus forward again:

So much to comment on! Thanks for posting this.

I’ve always felt that Apple design was retro after the iMac. The iMac was more '60’s modernism, the same flavor as Karim Rashid inspires himself from. The iPod started looking to the more somber Braun, German modernism. Great side-by-sides!

Yo: I just saved some images of that Mazda yesterday. I actually think the rear design has some things in common with the iAesthetic, but on an organic form. The rear emphasizes thinness through layers, and the same thing is done on the iPod (1 layer chrome, 1 layer acrylic). Interesting.

I’m going to go ahead and assume they did this on purpose, kind of a nod to the Deiterator

i’ve always thought of this trend as ‘Skins’… one material skinning another… it’s all over the place…

I think the Frankfurt show was the first one n a long time with NO retro influenced concepts, and the 5 Mazda concepts from this year push this more and more (the one at Detroint right now is a friggin killer, I love it (minus the wing, that’s dumb))

A couple things I feel that Apple has done so well:

  1. the Ramster is the man, and that aesthetic is timeless. Even though they are clearly heavily “inspired”, we are 5 years in and still not complaining too much. If you are going to knock some one off, make it someone good. They are clean and well executed, and reference something I love while taking it way into the future in terms of manufacturing and technology (if not aesthetic)

  2. I think the architectural form is more appropriate. As much as I love the form work on the OG iMacs and iBooks, the architectural form fits in with the home, and makes the package as small as possible for portable devices. The OG iBook was a lot bigger than it needed to be because of that great form work. The new ones are compact because of their architectural restraint.

I hope they continue with both of these things, but also introduce new materials, finishes and details to cary it forward. I want a wood and aluminum tower, iMac, and monitor. I want a scratch resistant iPod and Mac Book. Another radius size would also be cool, just to mix it up…

Frankly, this amazes me. Nice find.

Have you seen this one? For everyone that wishes they could fly a F-22… wait, you probably can’t afford a reventon either…

Yeah, I’ve seen that Lambo before. A lot of styling cues on cars come off jets and planes.

The consistency of the Apple styling is pretty shocking.

Interesting article, but seriously, the ipod is a rounded rectangle with a circle and another rectangle on its face……how can you say that anyone “invented” that shape combo? I see the Dieter Rams influence and some but not all of his philosophy. Apple is regrettably missing a couple of his rules: Good design is durable (hello scratches and battery life), Good design is concerned with the environment (non-removable batteries and chrome plating anyone?). If Ives and company have studied history and applied its lessons to their products so what? They are not ripping Dieter Rams off. They are learning from him. Apple has done a brilliant job of creating products with intuitive, simple, well-thought out interfaces and clean, unobtrusive aesthetics. It doesn’t need to be 100% new and futuristic to be good.

It is interesting that the recent Mazda showcars have been brought up in comparison.

Here are a couple galleries of pics for them:

The Taiki is bold and has some really interesting surfaces, but I like the new Furai much better.

In some ways Mazda’s design philosophy is almost opposite to Apple. Apple’s styling is restrained, emphasizing the materials and interface. It is logical and beautiful in its simplicity. Mazda is exuberant, seeking to sculpturally represent the dynamic fluid medium that the car travels through. The sculptural embellishments are not intrinsic to the function, but playfully make visible the cars relationship to its environment. When I look at it, I am aware that it is designed to move, it is a directional object and the flourishes seem appropriate. It is unapologetically emotional and beautiful in a different way than Apple.

The design pendulum always seems to swing from the “rational” to the “emotional” and back again. Each “new” style looks fresh in comparison as the predominant one has become so ubiquitous that it is boring. It is just happing so fast these days that you see both styles at the same time. The surfacing of first Audi TT was in same vein as Apples current line, but it was copied so much that even Audi moved away from that look so they didn’t appear outdated.

I think that in order to appear “new” a design just needs to contrast with what has come immediately before it. A design that is truly revolutionary is rare.

I found the Braun electric shaver!


Any good portfolio books out there on Braun or Dieter Rams?
Amazon doesn’t come up with much.

I like this direct reference.

Found this one the other day:

I just need $85 bucks now.