From Chosun Ilbo (via PSFK) comes this story about techart designs. A combination of the words technology and art, the term applies to a category of products that combines high-tech function with an aesthetically pleasing look. Some of the items mentioned are the Hauzen air-conditioner from Samsung and LG Electronics’ Shine Designer’s Edition cellphone. The air conditioner is the work of Korean designer Andre Kim while the phone comes from fashion designer Lee Sang-bong and is imprinted with the famous poem “Night of Counting Stars” by Yoon Dong-joo. In the same vein, engadget noticed that PQI is producing a Chinese New Year version of its U510 USB flash card – the Limited Fortune Pig Edition Card Drive.
While this trend of bringing art to surfaces previously thought meant to be bare is not terribly new (start with plates and think on through umbrellas), this is further confirmation that it continues. Sometimes beautiful, often tacky, decorating a previously blank surface always forces a second look. Decorating larger surfaces, however, requires more daring because it’s always… just… there. If one day you decide you don’t like it, you’re in trouble. Daring is likewise required to decorate long-lived products that are often re-sold. Volkswagen addresses this problem with New Beetle Art which uses removable vinyl stickers to “customize” the exterior of your car.
After decoration comes customization followed by personalization. Volkswagen is at customization, so how hard can it be to allow customers to design their own vinyl stickers? We already see vinyl stickers for laptops so how about a vinyl refrigerator door skin that I design and fits my model exactly? But then, where would I stick the pizza guy’s phone number?