Marking 100 years since the German company was first founded, and celebrating a century of changing the landscape of design and bringing Bauhaus art and German functionality to the world, Braun teamed up with designer, entrepreneur, and DJ Virgil Abloh to reinvent one of its classic products.
The product in question is the 1965 Wandanlage, a hi-fi audio wall unit that Abloh sought to update, turning it into ‘functional art’ that reflected Braun’s design values along with Abloh’s eclectic cultural and musical references from the past 100 years. In its 2021 edition, the new Wandanlage sports a beautiful chrome design that unites Braun’s love of the material (as seen in its 1960 SM3 shaver and 1961 T1 toaster) with Abloh’s hat tip to the glitz and the shimmer of chrome accents often associated with hip-hop culture through the later years. The design still reflects Braun’s ‘less is more’ philosophy, while the company also ensures that the original hi-fi audio remains the hero of the collaboration – and the technology still functions today as it did back in 1965.
About the collaboration, Virgil Abloh said, “I have always had a deep appreciation for Braun design. For the brand’s 100 years, I jumped at the opportunity to reimagine this iconic Braun product and challenge what we have come to expect from design. The “functional art” piece co-curated with Braun Design not only highlights the original function of the hi-fi wall unit that was the best audio of its time, but also the quality and durable materials that are built to last. As a creator, I continue to question how art is perceived in today’s culture. “Functional art” is a lasting legacy of the enduring power of good design that is simple, useful and built to last. In so doing, it advances the frames of design references beyond design ‘purists’ to broader audiences.” Abloh further describes his inspiration and this collaborative journey in the video above, shot at Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Farnsworth house.
An image of the original Wandanlage sound unit from 1965.