How to Turn Your CD into a Table Saw?

Designed by Joseph Graceffa, a designer from IDEO, this is a concept music Hi-Fi system has been doing the rounds on the internet. Apparently it has been posted on 14 blogs world wide. I supposed this blog will be number 15?

After studying it, I just can’t begin to explain the number of ways this concept design troubles me. Then again, that’s what I like about concept work; you can really take a design right to the edge and go way past it! Besides according to Joseph he posted this concept to test the viral marketing of blogs, not to validate his concept.
Take a look at his design rational:

Why is the spinning disc, the most dynamic element of a CD player, hidden from a listener’s view? The simple, but energetic function of a CD player can and should be visually acknowledged. This CD player elevates the spinning motion of the disc and its linear potential for movement to an iconic and understandable form. The player embodies something we know but rarely notice, and something we understand but cannot define.
The spinning CD, displayed as a table saw blade slicing through a rich piece of walnut, draws our attention to an element of elegant activity within a simple, tranquil object. Appropriately, the perforated walnut speakers are equal to the size of planks that might be cut by the spinning blade. As in a lumberyard, they find their resting place, leaning motionless against a vertical surface. Battery powered and wireless, the system is clean, unencumbered and unfettered. To further emphasize simplicity and integrity, the player’s controls have been reduced to three white buttons. Intuitively aligned with the CD itself, the center button acts to play and pause, the left button tracks backward and the right tracks forward.
Movement, scale and functionality expressed in a simple, knowing form.

Via Core 77
I think I’m troubled because I do not see the relationship between highlightning the spinning CD with the functional aspect of the product. I’m also a little surprised that this designer thinks that CD players have their spinning CDs hidden? I supposed he is talking about the boxy deck style CD players, because if he did an audit on lifestyle CD Hi-Fi systems almost all have them have the CD encased in clear materials for all to see.
If you ask me about creating a logical relationship between a forms inspiration and the design’s function do check out this Seek Slider CD concept that was developed by Siow Mei Yee and Chen Wenshan, from the National University of Singapore, that won a 2006 Lite-on Bronze medal.

Seek Slider, a home entertainment system adopting Windows Media Player interface, exhibits physical representation of music. The differentiation of such interface is the indication of the playback progress of music through the movement of the slider on a track. Seek Slider introduces a revolutionary tactile interface, which requires bigger movement of the palm and fingers to operate the system. By moving or stopping the slider/player, the user can intuitively controls basic playback tasks such as playing, pausing, stopping, rewinding, and fast-forwarding. This tactile operation of the system was devised from the cursor movement and the maneuverability of a computer mouse when operating the Windows Media Player’s interface. Other than that, there is extensive use of lighting to indicate its usage, providing both audio and visual entertainment.

So the travel of the CD from left to right provides you with a tangible and visual frame of reference on where you are in a song. Furthermore by sliding the “clear” spinning CD case you can jump to any part of the song. This is great for CD testing stations don’t you think?
Nice work ladies!

  • PY

    February 14, 2007 at 11:51 pm Reply

    Hey good note taken on the relationship. I saw the the CD player Table saw article on Core 77, and share the same sentiments about how they try to complicate the design relationship rather than simplifying it.
    It’s a good example you stated regarding the Seek Slider. I agree that the interface design is very clear in showing the backward and forward motion to connotate the disc playing movement.
    Good linkage of the 2 examples to signify the contrast.

  • Design Translator

    February 15, 2007 at 4:56 am Reply

    Hi PY,
    Thanks for visiting and your interesting insights.

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