For the most part, today’s portable speakers are aping their larger wired predecessors. The aesthetics of a classic amplifier are easily traced in the Jambox, Sonos, or even the Kickstarter success Hidden Radio--the perforations in the gasket, the oft-seen rectangular shape, the dark hues.
These tech specs all serve a function, but they no longer neatly align with the actual source of our music: our iPhones (or Android, or Galaxy, and so on). The Flow Radio and Speaker, designed by Philip Wong for Lexon, is a kickback to the early iPod--which was itself an imitation of the iconic T3 Player App by Dieter Rams.
The lingering influence of Rams--and the pieces he created for Braun--on industrial design is incalculable. We’ve seen a weather app built in his honor, and a radio app that mimes the experience of the T3 interface.
Flow echoes all the Dieter Rams principles by boiling down the most essential elements of the speaker into a clear box with white trimmings. The radio’s clean interface, like a true Braun design, skips color embellishments or wood casings, instead choosing to spotlight its functional bare bones. There’s no script or icons--just plain geometry, and a dot-size light that turns green or red to indicate on/off, or signal a low battery.
The Flow Radio and Speaker costs $85, and can be found at the MoMA Design Store.