May 19, 2008
Editor’s Pick: Areaware
Our editors select their favorite designs from the ICFF show floor.
Areaware’s wooden Magno radio, designed by Singgih Kartono, may still be basking in the collective glow of the media (and deservedly so), but the New York-based company is already preparing a worthy follow-up. If Magno was shaped by the craft traditions of its creator’s native Indonesia, for the 2B Tube Amp Radio, by Jonas Damon, inspiration comes directly from Braun. (Damon, a native of Germany, has worked with Braun’s famed in-house designer, Dieter Rams.) With a trim elegance that will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen Rams’s SK2, 2B pays homage to the master while convincingly updating his work, limiting the controls on the radio’s face to a lovely dial with a contrasting red tuner, and two knobs that beg to be touched. (Out-minimalizing Dieter Rams? That’s a feat in itself.) Unlike most modern radios, 2B eschews transistors in favor of three vacuum tubes (as in a guitar amp), producing a sound that Areaware says is much warmer—think of the richness of an analog LP versus a digital CD or MP3. The radio shown at ICFF is just a prototype, but Areaware hopes to put 2B into production soon.