True vision: Loewe’s Bodo Sperlein brings art deco aesthetics to the small screen
Deciding where to stick the television proves endlessly troublesome for interior designers. Often, the gaping black-mirror screens and clunky frames unhelpfully dominate a space.
German TV manufacturer Loewe has turned this problem on its head, creating a television that has the potential to become a focal design feature. We first saw the ‘bild 9’ back in December when it was just a prototype. Thanks to the feverish static the concept generated at last year’s IFA tech-fest in Berlin, Loewe decided to turn TV dreams into reality. Now, as it enters stores globally, the ‘bild 9’ is set to be the envy of living rooms everywhere.
With a significant nudge from the brand’s London-based creative director Bodo Sperlein – a celebrated designer in his own right – Loewe has broadened its staple ‘luxury minimalist’ aesthetic, adding nods to art deco glamour and Bauhaus geometries.
Loewe’s ‘bild 9’, alongside its ‘klang 9’ speakers, which will be released in August this year
To draw design references from yesteryear is a bold move in an industry that’s obsessed with making things look ‘new’ - but this aesthetic has generated a stagnant homogenisation in TV design in recent years. Sperlein’s eclectic set of influences combine to create a distinctive, statement product. The ‘floating’, angular steel frame looks like it came straight out of Josef Albers’ sketchbook. And its 1920s-inspired colour palette of ‘graphite grey’ and ‘amber gold’ makes a refreshing change from the silvers and blacks we’re used to.
Sensibly, Sperlein doesn’t let the visual difference distract from the heft of technology that underpins it. At just 7mm, the cutting-edge OLED screen is implausibly thin; thinner even than your average smartphone. There’s class-leading sound too, thanks to a discreet 120W integrated soundbar, which appears as if by magic when the TV is switched on, and nestles inside the stand when not in use.
And the stand is more than just a pretty frame. All wires feed through it, tucked neatly out of sight, while a fabric cover conceals the connections and cables on the back – just in case you want to place your TV set in the middle of the room. The 360-degree posibilites are endless. As Mark Hüsges, CEO of Loewe says, ‘The “bild 9” clearly demonstrates that home entertainment can be an aesthetic element of interior design.’ About time.