Co.Design

Detraform Brings Sexy Back To Landlines, For The Smartphone Age

Joel Blair's "boutique electronics brand" teamed up with Kiwi & Pom to design a cordless land line telephone that'd make Don Draper proud.

Having a bona fide land line in the house is a prudent fail-safe against the plagues of the smartphone age: signal drop-outs, dead batteries, fetish objects with faulty engineering. But they're expensive and ugly to have around the house. Detraform, a self-described "boutique electronics brand" founded by Montreal-based designer Joel Blair, can't help fix the first problem — but with its retro-stylish Model 500 cordless telephone, it may solve the second. Check out the video, which looks like it was directed by Wes Anderson via Don Draper:

Blair, whose design background is in graphics and photography, tapped the product-design smarts of Kiwi & Pom to help bring his vision of a non-lame landline to life. "Detraform/Joel had a clear vision of creating a desirable home phone that
would be based on the ideals of traditional phones of the past," Kiwi & Pom director Kam Young tells Co.Design. "He was disillusioned by today's poorly made home phones and what they had become: a
cheap throwaway object with very little relationship to the home environment."

The team aimed to "create a modern twist on familiar forms from the past" with all the ergonomic benefits of the phones our parents grew up with, but stylish enough to stand tall among iStuff and other contemporary product designs. It recharges on a minimalist base station (no more bulbous black plastic monstrosities taking up space) but its clever upright shape means that it never looks out of place, even if you just leave it sitting on a countertop or end table.

Detraform is funding the first run of its Model 500 in a Kickstarter-esque crowdsourced campaign. Go chip in and join the retro phone revolution.

[Read more about Detraform]

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