Hidden Objects: why are smart gadgets so obvious?

Why should smart gadgets be so obvious?

SF-SO’s Hidden Objects propose ways in which everyday items can be naturally hidden and blend in with the surrounding environment. 

“Companies’ desire to make newly released products stand out [is leading] to unnecessary decorations and shapes during design,” says SF-SO.

“In the end, this is also the reason why people throw things away easily as users get jaded with such overly stimulating designs over time.”

To resolve this inevitability, the industrial design duo created a collection of smart home gadgets that blend into their environment.

Called Hidden Objects, they include a kitchen scale that looks like a simple bowl and a larger body weight scale that masquerades as a bathroom tile.

Rather than adding endless functions, SF-SO instead reduced each item down to its core function and created a minimal form.

Elsewhere, a remote control made up of two round bars conceals itself as a design object by simply turning on its front or shielding its buttons away from view.

“The remote control can be turned over or made to stand when not in use. This allows buttons to be hard for anyone to notice that it’s a remote control at a short glance. And it’s seen as a design object for decorating the home,” SF-SO explains.

It’s reflective of the design duo’s desire of making each object easy and intimidating to use. A feat further emphasized by their use of softwood and plastic in neutral colors.

The collection also includes the Pebble Tray, which can be used to conceal valuable items like keys or jewelry in plain sight.

When closed, the lid neatly covers these items inside a case that resembles a small stone.

Modern tech can be minimal in our homes

It’s a nice idea that most brands are unlikely to adopt. At least among those whose branding is a key part of the consumer experience.

Saying that design giants like IKEA and MUJI have built their brands on minimalist products.

IKEA recently unveiled a table that doubles as an air purifier, which follows the same trend SF-SO is trying to promote with Hidden Objects.

This trend reflects a desire to switch off amongst consumers—the idea of a “Digital Detox” is nothing new. But it continues to inspire designs, which propose clever ways of concealing our unparalleled technological advances.


Finally, read more on Archup:

Want to Stay Relevant in Architecture? Become an Adaptive Reuse or Renovation Expert

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