What would happen if you took one of the biggest brands in electronics and let them meet up with a small Parisian design studio?
When Samsung invited the Bouroullec brothers, Ronan and Erwan, to rethink the television of today, something special occurred. Don’t get tricked by the rather small size of this French design office. Studio Bouroullec is well known for its furniture, homewares, and semi-architectural installations for brands such as Magis, Vitra, Hay, Iittala, and Mattiazzi.
The Bouroullecs aimed at crafting an object for Samsung that fused technology with their knowledge of furniture design, and created a solid presence that would sit almost naturally in any environment. A statement from the studio even says that “Serif TV doesn’t belong to the world of technology, but to the world of furniture and design.”
If you compare Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec’s Serif TV to the television likely sitting on your living room console or hanging on your wall, you’ll notice that it’s different in almost every way. The name “Serif” refers to the typographical term, used for fonts that have small lines on the end of strokes in their letters and symbols. Whereas the usual TV is fitted with a sturdy black plane, the Serif TV is defined by the letter “I,” which is visible from the side profile. Due to this characteristic visual shape, the Serif TV enables us to use the top surface as a small shelf.
But not only the shape got a makeover. The Bouroullecs were pushing their design philosophy further than the hardware, as they reimagined the user interface by creating a mode between on and off, which they named the “curtain-mode.” The viewer is given the possibility to change to gentle transitional graphics, that ease the mood of the viewers.
Serif TV is available in three colors in three modest sizes (24-, 32-, and 40-inches), with a rear panel covered in woven fabric that hides away unsightly power, HDMI, and other connections. Serif TV is offered with attachable legs for the two largest models. The Serif TV will sell for $772; $1,081; and $1,855. The Serif will go on sale in the UK, France, Sweden, and Denmark, but is also available for online sales on the Samsung website.
About Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec
Ronan (born 1971) and Erwan (born 1976) Bouroullec are brothers and designers based in Paris. They have been working together for about fifteen years, bonded by diligence and challenged by their distinct personalities. Their small studio team is made up of around six people.
In 1997, they were spotted by Cappellini, who gave them their first industrial design projects. They began working with the Galerie kreo in 2000 and had their first solo show there in 2001. Issey Miyake then hired them to design a boutique called A-POC to house his new collection. They met then Rolf Fehlbaum, President of Vitra, and worked on a new office system entitled Joyn. Since then, they have gone worked with Artek, Alessi, Axor Hansgrohe, Cappellini, Established & Sons, Flos, Hay, Kettal, Kvadrat, Kartell, Glas Italia, Ligne Roset, Magis, Iittala, Mattiazzi, Mutina, Nani Marquina, Samsung, and Vitra.
Their work has covered many fields, ranging from the design of small objects as jewelry to spatial arrangements and architecture, from craftsmanship to industrial scale, from drawings to videos and photography. The designers also maintain an experimental activity with Gallery kreo, which is essential to the development of their work.
The Serif TV is the second collaboration in this style between Samsung TV, under the supervision of Yun-je Kang and renowned the product designers.