Good Design Award 1990, Good Design Super Collection 1996
The ultimate in modern design conveying sophisticated technology
In Japan, the Hi-Fi audio boom continued from the late 1960s to beginning of the 1980s. The ideal of Hi-Fi is faithful reproduction of the original sound.
The SL-10 adopts a linear tracking system, aiming at perfect reproduction of the original sound. Due to its linear tracking system, the arm always stays parallel to the grooves as it moves across the surface of the record. The groove is traced at the same angle as used to record the master disk. This makes it the mechanism that is best suited for reproducing the original sound.
The shape of the unit is comprised of straight lines, giving the arm movement a visual appeal. The size is the same as a record jacket, just slightly larger than an LP record. The arm mechanism is mounted on the cover, which means that the arm is completely removed from the surface of the record after opening the cover, enabling easy access. The aluminum texture of the body, which damps vibrations, gives it a striking appearance. This overtly modern design, featuring sophisticated technology and a unique shape and look, was very popular.
1990Hair dryer - Slim dryerEH625
A radically slim and compact design that rapidly gained popularity
A palm-size dryer only 2 cm thick, designed as a travel item for business trips.
To concentrate on portability, a separate handle was eliminated: instead, the body is held during use. It does not look like a hair dryer at first glance, but it actually has a very efficient structure: the motor and fan are inside the circular part of the cover, the heater is inside the front part (around the National logo), and the switch components are positioned in the remaining space. The electric cord is wound around the body for easy packing away. A mechanism locks the switch at the base of the cord to prevent the fan from activating when the cord is wound around it.
The slim and flat shape allows it to fit neatly into the pocket of a travel bag or briefcase. Businesspersons loved its unique geometric shape, and it became a popular item.
Realizing the convenience of a disposable paper dust bag and ease of storage and cleaning
The product that used a paper dust bag and set the mainstream style of vacuum cleaners in Japan.
Conventional vacuum cleaners collected dust directly into the main frame, so the emptying process often resulted in dirty hands and clouds of dust. To solve this drawback, the MC-250C adopted a system in which the paper dust bag was simply removed and dropped into the garbage. The design of the rectangular compact body takes its cue from the box-shaped paper dust bag. It heralded the coming age of disposable dust bag systems, making a departure from typical rounded 1980s vacuum cleaners.
The rollers that slightly protrude at the rear enable the vacuum cleaner to be easily stood upright by lifting it with the handle at the front. Cleaning the house and staircases was made much easier. The care taken by the designer is evident. A soft plastic cushion is attached to the rear face to prevent the vacuum cleaner from damaging the floor when it is positioned upright. The paper dust bag system became the standard for Japanese vacuum cleaners, with the MC-250C as the starting point.
Good Design Award 1982
Form announces function!
In the 1980s, the use of microcomputers in consumer electronics became very common, making them much more complicated to operate. The NE-M600 daringly adopted simple mechanical controls at a time when a mass of functions was all the rage. Its selling point was simplicity and ease of use.
At the top right, just four buttons: microwaving (strong and weak). A grill and oven were provided, with three dials below them: a timer, high/low grill temperature, and oven temperature selector. The layout was easy and intuitive for anyone daunted by multiple functions and features. The upper parts of the four buttons were sloped to make it easy to tell from a distance by the shadow which button had been pressed. A flat door with large glass window gives a sophisticated look and is easy to clean. The red line on its two-tone, black and white design gives it a modern appearance.
As the name "THIS IS Microwave Oven" suggests the product pursued how it should look like as a tool. A simple-to-understand and advanced look at a reasonable price made it a great hit.
1985TV monitor - Alpha tubeTH28-DM03
Good Design Award 1985, Good Design Super Collection 1996
A TV is a cathode-ray tube.
In the 1980s, as video recorders and rental videos gained in popularity, TVs changed from devices for watching broadcast programs to tools for enjoying a range of video materials.
While thinking about what form TVs should take in the coming age, Panasonic's designers placed a cathode ray tube on the floor to think about the starting point of what a TV was. This was a moment of inspiration – The basic nature of a TV is that it is a cathode ray tube that displays images.
The Alpha Tube is a large cathode ray tube with a minimalist look. Its shape announces that a TV is a cathode ray tube. The Alpha Tube, by its nature, suggested "floor-based living." The screen was tilted upward at 10° to enable the TV to be placed on the floor for viewing. The "floor-based living" concept made people think again about traditional Japanese floor-based living.
By identifying the basic nature of a TV, the Alpha Tube took the lead in the coming age of enjoying video pictures on a large screen.
1986Wiring fixture - Full-color modern platesWN6001, W010他
Good Design Award 1986
A simple design that blends with the wall became the Japanese standard.
The full-color wiring fixture series, released in 1971, had a double structure comprising an outer plate module and inner fixture module. The size of each module was standardized. Later, this design was adopted as the JIS standard and is still used today.
In line with the broadening range of interior designs, the full-color wiring fixture series conventionally offered a variety of designs with a variety of models. However, the full-color modern plate that was released in 1986 reversed this concept. The design was simplified to the extreme to coordinate with any interior design. To assimilate with the wall, the outer plate module protrudes only slightly. The wide range of demands for functions, number of switches, outlets, and sizes can be satisfied by combining the fixture module with the plate module.
The product spread quickly soon after its sales release, and is now the standard for wiring fixtures in Japan.
A bathtub producing a relaxing space like a hot spring
Circulating hot water cascades like waterfall from the spout, inspiring an image of gushing hot spring water. The bathtub is large enough for an adult to fully stretch out. Bubbles generated by the jet flow give a Jacuzzi effect. The flange (the top face of the rim) features artificial marble in a beautiful striped pebble pattern, giving a graceful and natural appearance. Since the flange is wide, you can sit on it as you would at a hot spring to enjoy a relaxing foot bath.
A conventional bathtub is equipped with an apron (a vertical member facing the washing area), but the Waterfall Jet 1500 intentionally did not provide an apron so that it could offer a flexible layout of height and position in the bathroom. This design flexibility allows the owner or interior designer to choose almost any layout of bathroom inspired by hot springs.
1988Electric heater - Mellow HeaterFE-12L1E
Good Design Gold Award 1988, Good Design Super Collection 1996
A new heater design that departs from the usual 'heater as basic equipment' image
An electric heater equipped with two systems: Noiseless natural convective heating that releases gentle heat from the top face of the main unit, and hot air fan heating for rapid warmth
On the premise that the FE-12L1E was for use in a relaxing context, such as a bedroom or children's room, the heater has a less hard-edged design. Its slim vertical shape takes up little space. A metal mesh is provided inside the lower hot air outlet for safety, and the opening is slit-shaped to make the heater look less mechanical.
At this time, most heaters, such as oil stoves and radiation-type electric heaters, were designed as basic equipment. This new high-grade simple design suggested a new direction for the look of heaters.
1988Electric iron - SePaReNI-S2000L
Good Design Award 1988
Changed the impression of ironing as a heavy and burdensome chore
Cordless electric irons are very much common nowadays, but this was the first of its type. The rear part of the main unit works as a socket. Power is delivered to heat the iron when the main body is positioned on the exclusive stand while the ironing is moved or replaced.
Eliminating the cord made ironing extremely easy. The product was also downsized and lightened to free it from the old image of ironing being a heavy and cumbersome chore. A semi-transparent green cassette tank on a white body and a gently curved shape from handle to tip gives a cheerful and elegant impression. The design made ironing feel less of a grim task.
1988IH rice cooker - Nippon CookerSR-IH18
Good Design Award 1989
A fresh design announces new technology
The first electric rice cooker to adopt the IH system for heating the cooking pot itself. Since the IH system has high heating power, you can cook significantly more tasty rice than with conventional rice cookers.
The design of rice cookers had usually been circular, the shape of a traditional cooking pot, since the emergence of electric rice cookers in the 1950s. The SR-IH18 intentionally adopted a new square design to visually announce to customers that it was using an innovative technology called the IH system. The square shape harmonized well with westernized high-end kitchens in the late 1980s.
There is no handle. The rice cooker is carried to the table like the traditional wooden casket for serving rice. The lid opens on pressing the button at the front, protecting the hand from the cloud of scalding steam that escapes when the top opens. In contrast to its innovative shape, careful consideration is given to keeping it within the mainstream of Japanese tradition. This approach is unique to Panasonic.
1988Hair care dresserGQB73ST1/GQB7312M, GQB73ST1/GQB7112M
Good Design Gold Award 1988
The simple beauty of equipment that produces a new sense of value
In the late 1980s, taking a shower in the morning, before going to school, became popular among junior high and high school students. With cute washstand dressers with a showerhead becoming increasingly popular, targeting teenagers in particular, Sommiere's chic design became very popular.
A large bowl made of artificial marble gives the Sommiere a distinctive look. The curved face protruding to the front and the curved alcove at the back allow plenty of space for the user to wash their hair and face. The alcove at the back leaves space for storage. The dresser is also equipped with an easily operated metal shower fitting, touch switch, and an outlet with a sliding cover to maximize the Sommiere's usefulness and convenience. The overall design is a simple combination of straight and curved lines. The product represented a new departure in the design of washstand dressers that until then often had a rather cold and sterile look.
Good Design Award 1989
The beauty of a soft and light electric fan
In nature, wind speeds tend to follow a 1/f distribution, meaning that stronger winds are rarer than gentle winds. This function is applied to the F-C304F to deliver a natural-feeling soft breeze. Its design is also intended to reduce its presence as an object and instead give it a feeling of attractive elegance and lightness.
Ordinary electric fans have a bulky motor at the back of the blades. The F-C304F, however, adopts a slim motor for a much lighter look. Poles and guards are also thinned to the limit for an elegant match with domestic interiors. The five transparent blades evoke the image of a gentle wind even when the fan is not rotating. The predominant color is titanium gray, made using metal powder, which is unusual in electric fans. User-friendliness and high-tech specifications happily co-exist in the F-C304F.