Braun x Virgil Abloh ‘Functional Art’ Hi-Fi Unit Debuts at Brooklyn’s “Figures of Speech” Retrospective

The brand’s communications director of design and tech reflects on working with the pioneering designer.

Design 
14,474 Hypes 1 Comments

Commemorating 100 years of “good design” in 2021, German appliances brand Braun partnered with Virgil Abloh to reimagine its iconic Wandanlage hi-fi audio unit in an alternative, ‘Functional Art’ perspective. The piece is set to make its debut public appearance in the Brooklyn Museum for the designer’s “Figures of Speech” retrospective.

Originally designed by Dieter Rams, the award-winning Wandanlage is widely recognized as the original hi-fi wall unit. Nearly six decades after its initial release, it is still celebrated by many as a “one of a kind” audio device. In the reimagined iteration, Braun and Abloh kept its ergonomic attributes at the forefront of the design, honoring its enduring functionality. Speaking on the collaborative ‘functional art’ piece, Braun’s communications director of design and tech communications Benjamin Wilson explains, “Virgil picked Braun’s 1965 Wandanlage because it has withstood the test of time through its cultural impact and articulation of Braun’s design philosophy.”

Consisting of modular components: a control unit (TS 45), tape recorder (TG 60) and two loudspeakers (L 450), Wilson notes that “The technology of the wall unit – and most notably the acoustic playback – functions as well today as it did in 1965.” He adds, “This appealed to Abloh’s engineering and music backgrounds.”

As well as being known to most as fashion’s disruptor, Virgil Abloh devoted his life’s work primarily to demystifying design in countless fields. “As an architect and a trained civil engineer, [Virgil] had a deep understanding of materials and processes, this greatly influenced how the collaboration and resulting ‘Functional Art’ piece evolved,” says Wilson. On the Wandanlage, Abloh played with an updated metallic and chrome finish which he references in the feature video as having a “long history within the Black canon of aesthetics.”

The 2021 co-creation simultaneously celebrates Braun’s Useful, Simple and Built-to-last “haltung” (or, attitude in English) with Abloh’s inspiring legacy. During Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” in Brooklyn, the functional art piece will be automated to play a selection of timeless tracks including Abloh’s special remix in collaboration with Houston sound designers, The Chopstars.

With Braun being a supporting sponsor of the exhibition, Wilson proudly shares the “functional art” piece with the public for the very first time. Speaking of the exhibition he says, “It is a must-see for everyone, not just design enthusiasts and an opportunity for people to see how Virgil Abloh reshaped fashion, art, design, and music in contemporary culture.”

For more information on the ‘functional art’ collaboration, head to Braun’s website. Tickets to Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” exhibition are available to purchase on Brooklyn Museum’s website.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Brooklyn Museum Releases "Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech" Merch
Fashion

Brooklyn Museum Releases "Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech" Merch

Hoodies, T-shirts, caps, bags, accessories, books and more.

Virgil Abloh's Careful Attention to "Figures of Speech" at Brooklyn Museum
Art 

Virgil Abloh's Careful Attention to "Figures of Speech" at Brooklyn Museum

“Virgil wanted everyone to feel like they were considered,” says curator Antwaun Sargent.

Samsung Unveils New Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra With 14.6-Inch Screen
Tech

Samsung Unveils New Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra With 14.6-Inch Screen

Featuring 512GB of storage and two front-facing cameras.


New Balance 550 Gets Shifted Into Stealth Mode
Footwear

New Balance 550 Gets Shifted Into Stealth Mode

Donning the monochromatic “Triple Black” theme.

KENZO FW22 Collection by NIGO Arrives on HBX
Fashion

KENZO FW22 Collection by NIGO Arrives on HBX

Featuring the Boke Flower design.

Crocs and B. Thom Stevenson Present a New Hand-Painted Design Based on Family Nostalgia
Footwear 

Crocs and B. Thom Stevenson Present a New Hand-Painted Design Based on Family Nostalgia

The Worcester-born artist takes inspiration from his grandmother’s floral quilts.

Invader's 'Astro Boy' Artwork in Shibuya, Tokyo Has Been Removed
Art

Invader's 'Astro Boy' Artwork in Shibuya, Tokyo Has Been Removed

Valued at roughly $1.22 million USD.

Dive Into Jin Yong's World of Wuxia Martial Arts With Tencent's Latest Game
Gaming

Dive Into Jin Yong's World of Wuxia Martial Arts With Tencent's Latest Game

The studio’s first Unreal Engine 5 title.

Hyundai Unveils the Long-Awaited IONIQ 6 EV
Automotive

Hyundai Unveils the Long-Awaited IONIQ 6 EV

Based on the Prophecy concept from 2020.


HH-118389225 Reworks Search and Rescue Gear for SS23
Fashion

HH-118389225 Reworks Search and Rescue Gear for SS23

Looking into the Helly Hansen archive.

Next 'James Bond' Film Still Two Years Away as Producers Work on "Reinvention of Bond"
Entertainment

Next 'James Bond' Film Still Two Years Away as Producers Work on "Reinvention of Bond"

They are also still looking for a replacement for Daniel Craig.

The Nike LeBron 3 "Barbershop" Receives a Release Date
Footwear

The Nike LeBron 3 "Barbershop" Receives a Release Date

The shoe is adorned with references to his kids and Akron, Ohio.

Elon Musk Surpasses 100 Million Followers on Twitter
Tech

Elon Musk Surpasses 100 Million Followers on Twitter

Closing in on Cristiano Ronaldo.

Kendrick Lamar Drops 'Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers' Vinyl LPs
Music

Kendrick Lamar Drops 'Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers' Vinyl LPs

Offered in regular and exclusive editions.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.