Barcelona Cultura

From Braun to Apple: the source of Steve Jobs’inspiration

Did you know that Steve Jobs was inspired more than once by products made by Braun when creating his Apple products? Check out this Phonosuper sk6 radio and record player from 1960, which was designed by Dieter Rams and Hans Gegelot. It has more than one thing in common with the iPod, don’t you think?

Braun became one of the first European manufacturers to combine radios and record players into the same unit during the 1930’s. With the change in the company’s orgiginal management, one of its objectives was to place more focus on designing objects meant for everyday use. This was an unusual idea at the time but one which has been maintained until the present day. Doing this required the creativity of professionals like Dieter Rams, who was also the creator of the juicer that so many of us have at home.

His new products were made according to a neo-functionalist approach. A product of this trend was the Phonosuper SK. Designed in 1956, this combined radio and record player and, for the first time, included a transparent acrylic lid. Such was the impat of the product’s new design that it was nicknamed “Snow White’s Coffin”, in reference to the Disney movie.

The lid blended into the folded, lacquered metal main plate with wooden sides. This solution made it possible to see the record player itseld and the control panel even when the lid is shut. The solution was an object that summed up Braun’s aesthetic philosophy: cutting out all superfluous objects to clearly show the functioning of its products.

What other Apple products do you think were inspired by Braun’s minimalist design?

Ajuntament de Barcelona