The Men’s Only Toothbrush

The goal for designing the Braun Concept Electric Toothbrush was to clearly define and create a toothbrush that is targeted at men. Unisex designs in toothbrushes often tend to appeal to only one gender, so the task at hand was to see if a design could be created that identifies only with one gender. A look at this concept and it is clear that it’s a sexy men’s-only electric toothbrush! Mission accomplished!

As Aleksandar puts it, “The design of the electric toothbrush is also well connected to its performance – aesthetically designed but also functionally in terms of the requirement to take care of your teeth in the best possible way.”

Designer: Aleksandar Andreevski

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Yanko Design
Timeless Designs – Explore wonderful concepts from around the world!
Shop CKIE – We are more than just concepts. See what’s hot at the CKIE store by Yanko Design!
(The Men’s Only Toothbrush was originally posted on Yanko Design)

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Braun CoolTec: A hands-on look at the world’s first electric shaver with an active cooling element for sensitive skin

Braun CoolTec


Avid readers know well that Cool Hunting is always on the lookout for new ways to innovate. While this can come in any number of shapes and forms, sometimes the simplest of ideas deliver the most notable results. For legendary design-driven tech brand…

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Braun’s Iconic LCD Watch Reborn: One of our favorite watches celebrates Dieter Rams’ impeccable style

Braun's Iconic LCD Watch Reborn


In 1978 Braun issued the digital DW30 watch with a groundbreaking style departure designed by Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs. Retired in 1981, only 8,500 were made (4,500 first…

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A History of Braun Design, Part 5: Haircare Products

071971-HLD_6-61-2.jpg

Handheld hair dryers made by a variety of manufacturers had existed since the early part of the 20th Century, but they weren’t very popular; They were heavy, unwieldy, and even dangerous, offering a risk of electrocution. They were also ugly: Most of them looked like a large metal teardrop with a stick-like handle shoved into the side of it.

By the early 1960s, Braun was confident enough in their technology that they knew they could produce a safe, reliable handheld hairdryer—and one that was beautiful. What is fascinating about this timeline of Braun’s haircare products is that you can see their thinking evolve. As per usual, they undertook bold experimentation in form factor, ignoring what their competitors were doing, until finally arriving at a “correct” solution on their own terms. They also started out thinking the hairdryer was a unisex product, then later realized that each gender was using them differently, and bifurcated their offerings to address this.

021964_HLD-23-231-2.jpg

1964
HLD 231
Reinhold Weiss

Braun’s first hairdryer, the HLD 231, eschewed the teardrop-on-a-stick form factor that was the current norm. Instead the sleek unit resembled a small heater, one meant to be grasped by the cylindrical bulge at the back. A single switch at the front, with a minimalist red dot, leaves no doubt as to how you were meant to turn it on. The device sold well enough that it did not require updating for some six years.

031970-HLD_4-1.jpg

1970
HLD 4
Dieter Rams

Rams’ 1970 update, the HLD 4, featured a friendlier shape and a grill area nearly as tall as it was wide. Aesthetically, the split, horizontal lines of the grill resemble earlier versions of Braun stereos, attempting to convey a brand identity across product categories.

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Oliver Grabes, Head of Design at Braun, on the Magic of Making Things Simple

A Sponsored Post on the History of Braun Design

OliverGrabes-BraunprizeJury-0.jpg

From the tender age of 14, Oliver Grabes knew that he wanted to pursue industrial design. He liked cars, he liked objects, and wanted to have a hand in shaping these things. “I knew I had to become an industrial designer,” Grabes says. “That was lucky in that I didn’t have to make up my mind of what to study; it was more a question of which design school to go to and which branch of industrial design to pursue.”

After earning a degree in product design from Offenbach College, Grabes spent nearly twenty years working for design consultancies, from his native Germany to Seattle to London. Cutting his teeth on technical products in the ’90s, before user experience became a part of the public consciousness, was a good time to learn: “Using a computer was so awful at the time, that I really started to become aware of how design had the potential to help make technology be a great experience for people,” Grabes explains. “You saw, fundamentally, why you got into design; you saw there was a real need for making technology more human, giving people an easier, better, more intuitive experience of using it.”

In 2006, having done work for the likes of AT&T, Boeing, Bosch, General Electric, Microsoft, Sony, Nike and others, Grabes became a Professor of Industrial Design at the University of Wuppertal, which has one of the highest-ranked ID programs in Germany. And when Braun asked him to become their Head of Design in 2009, the opportunity was too good to pass up. Braun had been aware of Grabes’ work for years, but Grabes had admired Braun’s work for decades—here he shares his thoughts on growing up with Braun, Dieter Rams’ legacy and how to get a job at Braun.

Core77: As a youth, what were some of the earliest objects whose design you became aware of?

This sounds a bit awkward, but it really was many of the Braun products at the time. Growing up in Germany, there were very few families that didn’t have at least one Braun product at home, because they made so many household products—we had them in the kitchen, the bathroom, the living room. I was particularly fascinated by Braun audio products at the time, like the famous Atelier stereo system. We didn’t have one of those. My friend’s family had one and when I would go to their house, I would study it very closely.

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A History of Braun Design, Part 4: Kitchen Appliances

A Sponsored Post on the History of Braun Design

Braun-Kitchen-00.jpg

As we’ve seen in earlier installments of this series, Braun revolutionized the product categories of audio entertainment, personal grooming and even time-telling. By the 1950s, they begun to expand out of the living room, the bathroom and the bedroom to transform the most crucial of household spaces: The kitchen, where every family’s sustenance was prepared. It was arguably the space where the housewives of the era, and the children they minded, spent the most time.

It was also a room for work, where design had yet to make a significant impact in easing the burden of labor. Braun’s designers tackled kitchen tasks with their characteristically superb analysis of what was needed, and how those objects should look and function. They began by introducing a host of diverse kitchen products, but it was the preparation of one hot beverage in particular—coffee—which allowed them to knock it out of the park time and again, in their relentless search of design perfection.

Braun-1957-KM3.jpg

1957
KM 3
Gerd Alfred Muller

From the get-go, it became clear that Braun would forge their own design path in this category. The KM 3 food processor was radically different from then-dominant American mixers of the time, which followed that country’s streamlined, chrome-heavy style and often look as if they were manufactured by Chevy. The sleek, simple KM 3, in contrast, looked as if it were related to Braun’s electric razors of the era. But this was no example of trying to graft the design of one product category onto another; the smooth, largely featureless shape was easy to clean. Attesting to the successful design of the KM 3 is that it would see production, with slight modifications, for more than thirty years.

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A History of Braun Design, Part 3: Audio Products

A Sponsored Post on the History of Braun Design

braun-audio-history-01.jpg

In the early 1920s, company founder Max Braun had made his entrepreneurial start by manufacturing radio componentry. By 1929 the canny Braun was producing complete radio sets of his own design. In 1934, the “A” in the center of the Braun logo (above) was shaped to resemble their art-deco-styled Cosmophon 333 radio (below).

braun-audio-history-02.jpg

As was and is the Braun hallmark, technical sophistication married with innovative design would mark the category. As early as 1932, Max Braun had created a combination radio-phonograph, this at a time when radios with a built-in speaker was still a fairly new idea.

braun-audio-history-03.jpg

But it wasn’t until the mid-1950s that the company, under the stewardship of Max’s sons Erwin and Artur, began forming a proper design department combining the foci of several talented individuals. Through their collaboration, drive, and relentless experimentation, the company began producing audio goods that moved firmly into what we would later think of as MoMA territory. And they would take some wild chances along the way.

Braun-SK1.jpg

1955
SK 1
Artur Braun, Fritz Eichler

This design storm began around 1955, with Artur Braun and Fritz Eichler’s SK 1 tabletop radio. The relatively tiny device could be placed on a windowsill and was a sharp departure from the gaudy visual clutter of other radios of the era. There was a dial and two unlabeled control knobs set into one side of a rational grid of dots for the speaker, and the barest hint of fins on the bottom for the device to stand on. (The grid of dots, by the way, would appear time and again in a variety of Braun products of all categories.)

Braun-G11-viaDasProgramm.jpgImage courtesy of Das Programm, specialist sellers of Braun Design, 1955–1995

1955
G 11
Hans Gugelot

While the SK 1 was radical, the company had still not yet given up on the idea of using wooden-bodied radios, as was the fashion of previous decades. But Hans Gugelot’s sleek G 11 design deviated wildly from the baroque “music furniture” that consumers were familiar with. It also contained a design innovation that would come to influence the product category: The side edges were completely flat and the same dimensions top and bottom. If a consumer purchased the corresponding G 12 turntable, they could stack it atop the G 11.

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A History of Braun Timepieces

braun-clock-01TOPHERO.jpg

Every student of industrial design ought study Braun’s line of timepieces. The sheer variety and innovation, on both the design and technical fronts, that the company was able to inject into something as simple as a time-telling device is staggering; Braun was obsessing over minute bevels and visual clarity years before smartphone manufacturers sought to differentiate one glass rectangle from another. The ability to so resoundingly distinguish a small circle on your wrist from other offerings on the marketplace is a testament to Braun’s unrivaled championing of industrial design. Many of the objects they created have a quality of inevitableness to them, as if they had chipped away at all distractions and arrived at a universally perfect product, with nothing anyone could possibly add–or subtract–to improve them. Yet they continually updated their offerings for more than two decades, with a deep product line-up that would keep many a design curator busy.

On the subject of curation: The fact that every industrial design student does not study Braun’s timepieces is probably because no one has compiled a comprehensive record of all of them. While we attempt to address that here, there are many models that we missed for want of images or information. The line is simply too large, the rare models too elusive. But we hope this will provide you with some sense of the deep mark that Braun made on what was formerly a staid product category.

braun-clock-02PHASE1.jpg

braun-clock-03phase1-2.jpgImage courtesy of Das Programm, specialist sellers of Braun Design, 1955–1995

1971
phase 1
Dieter Rams, Dietrich Lubs

Braun’s relatively primitive phase 1, very clearly a first effort, gave no hint as to the breadth of design variety to come. It featured numbers printed on little plaques attached to a mechanical rotating mechanism. That being the case, the body was large while the numbers were small; a trade-off the designers would not be willing to live with for long.

braun-clock-04PHASE2.jpgImage courtesy of Sammlung Design

1972
phase 2
Dietrich Lubs

By 1972 they had switched over to a flip-clock mechanism, whose tighter mechanicals enabled a smaller form and a larger display. In the phase 2 we see the design team gaining mastery over the technology in order to improve the user experience. But they were not done yet; this form factor was still driven by its mechanical innards, which they would soon discard altogether. Cutting-edge technology was in the works for what would be their radical release of 1975.

braun-clock-05PHASE3.jpgImage courtesy of Sammlung Design

1972
phase 3
Dietrich Lubs

At the same time they put the phase 2 on the market, Braun also dipped into the analog clock pool, releasing this compact phase 3 alarm clock. It bears virtually nothing in common with the phase 1 and phase 2, despite being released at nearly the same time; but it illustrates the design team’s freedom to experiment, a characteristic Braun quality that would pay off time and again. The analog form factor would evolve into objects that collectors would treasure.

braun-clock-06FUNCTIONAL.jpgImage courtesy of Das Programm, specialist sellers of Braun Design, 1955–1995

1975
functional
Dietrich Lubs

By 1975 Braun’s gorgeous functional was ready to go. As the mechanicals were now supplanted by eletronics, it no longer featured bulky innards that needed to be stuffed into a box; Dietrich Lubs took full advantage of this, creating a clock comprised of two slim, intersecting components. The rear, horizontal portion houses the circuit boards and supports the buttons (which were raised, so they could be located in the dark). The front portion held the gas discharge display, which was angled upwards for easy legibility.

Also note the self-restraint: The sleek, black display with its slick red numbers would have looked cluttered with the white Braun logo, so instead the logo was moved behind the screen, to the top of the unit.

(more…)



A History of Braun Design, Part 2: Timepieces

A Sponsored Post on the History of Braun Design

braun-clock-01TOPHERO.jpg

Every student of industrial design ought study Braun’s line of timepieces. The sheer variety and innovation, on both the design and technical fronts, that the company was able to inject into something as simple as a time-telling device is staggering; Braun was obsessing over minute bevels and visual clarity years before smartphone manufacturers sought to differentiate one glass rectangle from another. The ability to so resoundingly distinguish a small circle on your wrist from other offerings on the marketplace is a testament to Braun’s unrivaled championing of industrial design. Many of the objects they created have a quality of inevitableness to them, as if they had chipped away at all distractions and arrived at a universally perfect product, with nothing anyone could possibly add—or subtract—to improve them. Yet they continually updated their offerings for more than two decades, with a deep product line-up that would keep many a design curator busy.

On the subject of curation: The fact that every industrial design student does not study Braun’s timepieces is probably because no one has compiled a comprehensive record of all of them. While we attempt to address that here, there are many models that we missed for want of images or information. The line is simply too large, the rare models too elusive. But we hope this will provide you with some sense of the deep mark that Braun made on what was formerly a staid product category.

braun-clock-02PHASE1.jpg

braun-clock-03phase1-2.jpgImage courtesy of Das Programm, specialist sellers of Braun Design, 1955–1995

1971
phase 1
Dieter Rams, Dietrich Lubs

Braun’s first clock was the relatively primitive phase 1. Clearly a first effort, it gave no hint as to the breadth of design variety to come. It featured numbers printed on little plaques attached to a mechanical rotating mechanism. That being the case, the body was large while the numbers were small; a trade-off the designers would not be willing to live with for long.

1972
phase 2
Dietrich Lubs

By 1972 they had switched over to a flip-clock mechanism, whose tighter mechanicals enabled a smaller form and a larger display. In the phase 2 we see the design team gaining mastery over the technology in order to improve the user experience. But they were not done yet; this form factor was still driven by its mechanical innards, which they would soon discard altogether. Cutting-edge technology was in the works for what would be their radical release of 1975.

1972
phase 3
Dietrich Lubs

At the same time they put the phase 2 on the market, Braun also dipped into the analog clock pool, releasing this compact phase 3 alarm clock. It bears virtually nothing in common with the phase 1 and phase 2, despite being released at nearly the same time; but it illustrates the design team’s freedom to experiment, a characteristic Braun quality that would pay off time and again. The analog form factor would evolve into objects that collectors would treasure.

braun-clock-06FUNCTIONAL.jpgImage courtesy of Das Programm, specialist sellers of Braun Design, 1955–1995

1975
functional
Dietrich Lubs

By 1975 Braun’s gorgeous functional was ready to go. As the mechanicals were now supplanted by eletronics, it no longer featured bulky innards that needed to be stuffed into a box; Dietrich Lubs took full advantage of this, creating a clock comprised of two slim, intersecting components. The rear, horizontal portion houses the circuit boards and supports the buttons (which were raised, so they could be located in the dark). The front portion held the gas discharge display, which was angled upwards for easy legibility.

Also note the self-restraint: The sleek, black display with its slick red numbers would have looked cluttered with the white Braun logo, so instead the logo was moved behind the screen, to the top of the unit.

(more…)

Oral-B Deep Sweep 5000 Review

Three weeks ago I reached out to Oral-B to review the Deep Sweep 5000, their top of line electric toothbrush. After brushing twice a day, everyday for 2 minutes at a time, I sit here writing to you with whiter teeth, a brighter smile, and confidence to walk into my next dentist appointment with no fear of hearing, “oh you should brush more often.” Hit the jump for my review.

The start of the new year prompted my search for products that could make 2013 better than 2012 and part of that initiative is proper health and hygiene. I’ve always been an avid brusher but manual brushing requires proper form and execution. The Deep Sweep 5000 takes care of both those points by doing all the work for you. The head pulses 40,0000 times and conducts 8,800 sweeps per minute. Manually I could only manage 113 sweeps per minute. Add that to the recommended brushing time of 2 minutes and the Deep Sweep clearly out performs manual brushing.

Those 2 minutes are key to cleaner, whiter teeth. The Deep Sweep comes with a handy Wireless SmartGuide, a companion LCD display that conveniently divides up your mouth into 4 quadrants, brushing each one for 30 seconds before an audible beep tells you to move on. Standby time was excellent, working for nearly 8 days instead of the advertised 10 before juicing up on the included induction charger.

Of course that all depends on which of the 5 brushing modes you use. I generally kept mine on daily cleaning but other modes like deep clean and whitening use more power because the motor augments the speed at which the bristles sweep.

My official verdict? Love it. My teeth are definitely whiter just from 3 weeks of use. Of course there’s a tiny bit of staining that only a dentist equipped with bleach and lasers can remove but the Deep Sweep 5000 is the perfect mini dentist in between visits. It retails for $133 on Amazon and that’s a steal when you consider the comparable competitor is closer to $200.

Designer: Braun $133.00

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Yanko Design
Timeless Designs – Explore wonderful concepts from around the world!
Yanko Design Store – We are about more than just concepts. See what’s hot at the YD Store!
(Oral-B Deep Sweep 5000 Review was originally posted on Yanko Design)

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