1962Wiring device - Multi-socketWH2013

Photo:1962 Wiring device - Multi-socket WH2013
Good Design Award 1964, Good Design Long Life Design Award 1980, Good Design Super Collection 1996
An ultra-long selling product created by a meticulous focus on shape
In the late 1950s, households were becoming increasingly furnished with electrical appliances, typically the "three sacred appliances": a TV, washing machine, and refrigerator. A multi-socket device was then needed due to the few electric outlets in the average Japanese house. At that time, it was engineers that mostly designed wiring devices. Multi-sockets were normally cuboid and stuck out a long way.
Designers were actively involved in developing this multi-socket device. This is a good example of how designers can improve a product's 'look.' Positioning two of the sockets on the side of the cover minimizes the overall thickness and makes a more convenient configuration for the user. The inlets are concave to allow the plug to enter smoothly and easily. The shape is also easy to mold, resulting in high productivity. A two-tone design, with a white cover and chocolate-colored base, gives the product a sharp image.
It is an ultra-long seller whose basic design has not been changed in the almost half a century since its initial sales release. In 1980, the product won the Good Design Long Life Design Award.

1963Stereo set - ASUKASE-200

Photo:1963 Stereo set - ASUKA SE-200
Good Design Award 1964, Good Design Super Collection 1996
A stereo set designed to look like high-grade furniture
Until the mid-1960s, the common type of stereo set made in Japan was called the 'Ensemble Type,' and contained a record player, tuner, amplifier, and loudspeaker. They were expensive, and a stereo set was a prestige product for furnishing a living room.
The ASUKA is a typical stereo set of the time. The top cover slides open to expose a radio tuner and a record player with auto-change function. Sash bars as seen in Japanese azekura architecture are provided on the front face of the wood-grain body, hiding the loudspeaker behind them. Four table-style beechwood legs support the body.
ASUKA is not a furniture style, it's actually furniture. Its clear-cut design, based on straight lines, suits it for both Japanese-style and Western-style rooms. This popular stereo set was designed to resemble high-grade furniture that would complement any living room.

1965TV - SagaTC-96G

Photo:1965 TV - Saga TC-96G
Good Design Award 1965, Good Design Super Collection 1996
Until the mid-1960s, TV sets made in Japan were significantly influenced by US TV design, in which the screen occupied a square main unit. The SAGA was a milestone product that established a furniture-style TV as the unique Japanese style.
The SAGA was designed based on a TV fact-finding survey of Japanese households. In the 1960s, the TV was the centerpiece of the living room, and objects were often placed on top of it. The idea of designing a TV as furniture originated in this custom.
The SAGA was influenced by the simple furniture design style of Northern Europe. Expensive natural walnut and beech were used for its cabinet. The top plate was specially extended outward to allow objects to be easily placed on it. This design took its cue from a typical sideboard.
Between the late 1960s and 1970s, TVs made in Japan followed the new style established by the SAGA.

1965Vacuum cleanerMC-1000C

Photo:1965 Vacuum cleaner MC-1000C
Good Design Award 1965, Good Design Super Collection 1996
A vacuum cleaner marking the beginning of the age of plastics
At a time when most vacuum cleaners were made based on a simple metal cylinder, the MC1000C embraced the use of plastic, the first time in the industry, to achieve high flexibility in design. An elegantly and artistically curved face, only possible with plastic, was achieved. Conventional vacuum cleaners also easily fell over if not pulled perfectly straight, since their wheels were fixed. The MC-1000C, on the other hand, was equipped with a front wheel that could swing horizontally, allowing the wheel to steer and the vacuum cleaner to easily follow along. This drastically reduced stress on the part of the user.
The production system was also innovated. A metal vacuum cleaner required the insertion of mechanical components in sequence from one end of its cylindrical body. The main body of the MC-1000C was divided into right and left halves. Assembly was made easier by simply fitting mechanical components into one side and then closing and screwing in the other side. This design, feasible only with plastic, greatly increased manufacturing productivity.
Total production was 630,000 units - a record for vacuum cleaners at that time. This was the product that marked the beginning of the age of plastics.