Vinyl records and LP players have experienced a renaissance in the past few years as the “newtro” fad gripped people of all ages. While most tried to be faithful to the designs and experiences of old, even if they are considered inconvenient by today’s standards, others saw the trend as a challenge to re-imagine what could be in light of what was. That’s particularly true of old media that don’t necessarily need to be constrained by the limitations of old media players. This vinyl record player concept, for example, still tries to deliver that same unique audio quality of LP plates but uses a device that is not only lightweight but also light-centric in a manner you might not expect.
Designer: Hyeyoung Han, Hanyoung Lee
LP or vinyl records have always had a place in music lovers’ hearts despite the limitations of the physical medium. Those limitations, in fact, are what endears these large black discs to its loyal fans, creating a unique tone and quality that’s difficult to reproduce perfectly even through digital means. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to enjoy these vinyl records, both old and new. Unfortunately, most of them seem to be designed on the presumption that they have to be as big as an LP or even bigger.
There are reasonable considerations why record players come as large, flat boxes, but it’s not a hard rule. In fact, one could consider it detrimental to the enjoyment of these records since they take up much space and, more importantly, aren’t exactly easy to move around. Luceren is a design concept that tries to bring that favorite “portability” feature to the record player in a way that is both interesting and elegant, all for the sake of finding your inner self through music.
At first glance, this boat-shaped device looks more like a minimalist tealight candle holder. The protruding bulb on one end reinforces that imagery, but, as they say, looks can be deceiving. As you might have guessed, this is actually a record player, and that bulb serves as the spindle that holds the vinyl in place. Whether on its own or with a record on top, Luceren evokes a sense of simplicity, calm, peace, and light. Plus, it also makes it easy to move the player around, even if just inside the house or room.
It isn’t just for display, though, since it’s supposed to actually play those records. Rather than having a tonearm on top, though, the design hides the mechanism underneath, inside the body of the device. This means you’ll have to place the record upside down, but it’s not exactly a novel idea with some more minimalist record players. It also helps keep the design simple and reduces the number of moving parts that could be broken when moving it from one place to another.
There might be concerns about the stability of a device that spins a disc larger than itself, but Luceren does tickle the mind in imagining other unconventional designs like this. Regardless, the design successfully conveys the message it wants to send, that of a lightweight device that brings light through the simple enjoyment of music wherever you are.