1990 VCR NV-E505
Good Design Award 1990
Single-scan barcode reading, making video recording reservation easy for everyone
A uniquely user-friendly Hi-Fi video recorder with high sound quality
Panasonic adopted a barcode system for making TV program recording reservations from the late 1980s. At the time, a digital scanner was used to scan barcodes from a provided sheet for the channel, date, start time and end time. However, with the NV-E505, recording reservations could be made by simply applying the remote control scanner to a barcode and pressing the Read button. The T-shaped remote control with built-in large scanner is light in weight and had a shape perfectly fitted to the hand.
The main unit has a simple design for hiding the buttons with a cover. Opening the cover reveals buttons for a wide range of functions. The program reservation function is placed in the most convenient position. Conventional Hi-Fi VCRs mainly had a sharp-edged, high-end audio-type design. In contrast, the NV-E505 had curved edges and a matte gray texture to change the product's image from sharpness to "friendliness."

1990TV - GAOTH-29VS10

1990 TV - GAO TH-29VS10
Good Design Award 1990
Good picture and good sound - noiseless design in every detail
Based on the concept that the ultimate requirement for TVs is good picture and good sound, the GAO featured a noiseless design to eliminate factors that degrade picture and sound quality.
The frame, around the screen, which had a matte black finish, was made as thin and undistracting as possible, to draw the viewers' attention primarily to the images. A special sheet is extended on both sides of the screen to hide the speaker grilles, creating the impression that the sound is coming directly from the images. The exclusive TV stand is narrower than the main unit to accentuate the screen as the center of attention. Another major feature is its beautiful "360-degree design" that matched any type of interior from any angle. The elegantly arched rear face is physically easy to fit into the corner of any room.
A noiseless and 360-degree design had been the concepts that Panasonic's Design Department developed from the mid-1980s. As the culmination of these efforts, the GAO marked a total production run of 3 million units.

1990Housing rain gutter - Archiscare Type IMQA5100, MQA6100, MQAG100 (eave gutter)

1990 Housing rain gutter - Archiscare Type I MQA5100, MQA6100, MQAG100 (eave gutter)
Good Design Award 1990, Good Design Landscape Award 1991
Creating beautiful houses and streetscapes with architectural rain gutters
Conventionally, guttering was a 'necessary evil' that somewhat degraded a house's appearance. However, the Archiscare was designed based on the idea of creating a "gutter that does not resemble a gutter." It included the rain gutter as an important design element of the architecture.
The rain gutter is sloped at the roof part to make it contiguous with the roof. The bottom part is made level with the eave top to integrate it into the overall architectural structure. To keep the guttering straight, a steel plate is embedded in the core. The gutter is internally suspended and fixed with a metal fitting so that it is invisible from the outside and has a streamlined appearance. A drip guide is provided underneath the gutter to prevent striped water stains. The product is designed with every detail in mind.
Archiscare was an epoch-making product that made the rain gutter an integral part of the house's basic design. In 1991, it was awarded the Good Design Landscape Award for its contribution to beautiful streetscapes.

1990Fitted kitchen - Nice Fitted Kitchen Meteo SeriesSEGA, SEGB (door)

1990 Fitted kitchen - Nice Fitted Kitchen Meteo Series SEGA, SEGB(door)
A beautiful new high-grade fitted kitchen that changes its look under changing lighting
It features rigid doors resembling polished stone and a countertop made of artificial granite-like stone. A high-grade fitted kitchen with a modern but solid and substantial look. It became a popular top-grade fitted kitchen in a market where overseas manufacturers had been much preferred.
A new material called 'meteolite,' made by embedding wooden flakes in resin, was adopted for the door surfaces. It was coated with a transparent polyester paint and ground to a mirror-like finish. This produced a new type of pebble pattern in which the wooden flakes sparkled. The use of "meteolite" offered slightly different color tones in daylight and under artificial light. This design of kitchen gave it a different feel in the morning, daytime, and at night.
Various units were available for fitted kitchens: a 'Free Plan' to match the customer's individual plan, and an FD system for providing a flexible space suited to the easy movement of people by combining units with different depths. High flexibility was also a feature of this fitted kitchen.

1991Personal facsimile machine - OtaxKX-PW1

1991 Personal facsimile machine - Otax KX-PW1
Good Design Award 1992
Form follows function.
The trianglular shape, or inverted V shape, of the KX-PW1 when seen from the sides gives a strong visual impact and provides several functional advantages. First, it saves space, making it ideal as a household facsimile. Paper inserted from the top for transmission exits smoothly from the bottom outlet under the weight of the paper itself. The tube shape at the back indicates where to insert the fax paper roll. The roll can be easily inserted with one hand.
The OTAX was launched at a time when facsimile machines were becoming popular in ordinary households. The shape itself tells you how to use it. It was a user-friendly product at the time when most people were not familiar with facsimiles. OTAX was Panasonic's first personal facsimile machine but it became a hit product, reaching top market share for this type of model within three months of its sales release.

1991CD radio cassette recorderRX-DT707

1991 CD radio cassette recorder RX-DT707
Good Design Award 1991
Dynamic sound expression produced from a rounded body made it a major hit
CD radio-cassette recorders started to be equipped with multiple functions from the late 1980s. Panasonic adopted the "Cobra Top" mechanism, in which controls other than for basic operation are integrated into an openable panel. This mechanism proved very popular.
RX-DT707 is a model that came out in 1991, equipped with a Cobra Top that is opened by an electric motor. The double cassette recorder is installed under the Cobra Top, rather than the front face. This enabled the speaker part to be dynamically shaped. RX-DT707 has a strong round shape as if the entire radio-cassette recorder has swollen with sound, suggesting dynamic sound power. On the other hand, the buttons, dial, and LCD are hidden when the Cobra Top is closed, giving it a calm appearance.
The RX-DT707 became a great hit, with its dynamic sound and uniquely designed powered opening panel. It had a significant influence on the design of subsequent CD radio cassette recorders.

1992Air conditionerCS-G25V

1992 Air conditioner CS-G25V
Good Design Award 1992 (outdoor unit)
An air conditioner that harmonizes with the home exterior
An air conditioner focused on harmony between the home and outdoor scenery. A simple-designed outdoor unit advertised as "chiisize" (" miniature") drew consumers' attention to the outdoor unit, not just the indoor unit.
Conventional outdoor units had a rugged design with a rounded metal grille on a rectangular body. The CS-G25V was a successfully downsized model due to its adoption of new technology. A hounds-tooth-pattern grille is provided on a square front panel to harmonize with both the house and the urban landscape. Inspired by aircraft design, the cross section of the resin-molded grille had an airfoil shape to ensure smooth air exit. It was also quieter than a metal grille. Wiring and pipes were also housed in a single cover to create a streamlined effect.
The indoor unit had sloped inlet bars like a louver, making the black shadow at the back of the inlet invisible when viewed from below. The continuity of sloped bars and gentle curvature achieves elegant harmony between the air conditioner and interior design.


1992 Refrigerator NR-B500
Good Design Gold Award 1992, Good Design Super Collection 1996
A refrigerator that breathes elegance in its every detail
A high-grade refrigerator with a design that is simple and elegant down to the smallest detail. This effort to create a high-end and sophisticated design influenced the look of subsequent refrigerators.
In the 1990s, most high-end refrigerators were equipped with multiple doors, but the NR-B500 was intentionally designed with just two doors to give it a more elegant appearance. Glass was applied to the door surface to realize an extremely flat surface without any irregularities that might be visible when light is reflected from it. A close look will reveal a deeply elegant appearance that can only be realized with glass. To neutralize the greenish color peculiar to glass, pink, the complementary color of green, is coated on the back of the glass to produce a faint grayish color instead.
Tempered glass is used for the shelves inside the top chamber and a bright white internal light is employed to make food materials look natural. Clean-looking white cases are used inside the bottom chamber. The freezer, which is the part every member of family uses the most, is located underneath the refrigerator chamber to ensure easy access.

1994Lighting fixture - HANASABI series

1994 Lighting fixture HANASABI series
Good Design Award 1994
The essence of tea ceremony hospitality for the modern age
A lighting fixture series jointly developed with the Sabie association. The Association aims to transmit the aesthetics and values of tea ceremony to the modern age. Based on the Sabie Association's concepts of 'conservation,' 'breakthrough,' and 'departure,' we worked on including the essence of tea ceremony hospitality in this lighting fixture.
With respect to 'conservation,' we aimed to recreate traditional beauty by studying lighting that incorporates the ancient technologies of Japanese paper, wood, paint, and woodworking, while observing the code and rules of tea-ceremony houses. With respect to 'breakthrough,' a new type of lighting that focuses on the coziness of obscure light, breaking through the conventional values of lighting equipment, was designed. With respect to 'departure,' we aimed to represent hospitality and comfortable space in modern life with a design combining Japanese and Western styles, departing from traditional Japanese space and rules.
This project started from re-thinking the lighting in ordinary households. Since 1994, numerous products had been designed as part of the project, and the series became a representative type of high-grade Japanese-style lighting fixture.

1995Digital video cameraNV-DJ1

1995 Digital video camera NV-DJ1
Good Design Award 1995
A single cylinder that directly demonstrates the advantage of an aligned optical axis
A video camera's cylindrical shape directly demonstrates the benefits of having an 'aligned optical axis' in which the viewfinder and lens are positioned on the same axis. A lens is positioned along the line of sight through the viewfinder in the aligned optical axis. This enables quick tracking of moving objects, and no deviation in target objects during zooming.
The concept of a cylindrical body emerged from a discussion of new designs for video cameras while looking into a paper cup used as a viewfinder. Linear linking of the viewfinder and lens produced a strong impact. The body can be bent up and down. For example, you can hold the video camera over your head to shoot downward-looking images.
The video camera adopted DVC, a digital video format, for the first time, and its dynamic design was very well received. Using an aligned optical axis was established as the basic style of Panasonic video cameras and is still followed.

1995Massage chair - UrbanEP578

1995 Massage chair - Urban EP578
This model changed the image of massage chairs with its light design
A stylish couch design of a size installable in a small space at a reasonable price totally changed the image of massage chairs at that time.
Conventional massage chairs had a heavy and luxurious design to give a high-grade appearance that matched their sophisticated functions. However, the EP578 reversed this way of thinking. Pipe-style arms and legs were adopted to provide a through-space around the legs and offer a light appearance. Its simple structure also contributed to reducing its cost: the price was about 1/3 of that of conventional models.
The design of the EP578, linking relaxation and stylish appearance, attracted buyers who had not previously been interested in massage chairs. The EP578 led to the appearance of massage chairs in general households. Soon after sales release, the sales of the EP578 reached 10,000 units/month, making it the greatest hit in the history of massage chairs.

1996Power tools - 12-V rechargeable hammer drill and power screwdriverEY6901

1996 Power tools - 12-V rechargeable hammer drill and power screwdriver EY6901
iF Product Design Award 1996
The best balance for minimizing fatigue from long hours of work
A rechargeable power tool for drilling small diameter holes in concrete, mortar, and brick materials, and for use as a power screwdriver The EY6901 was popular for its high performance, cordless mobility, compact design that allowed the user to work in restricted spaces, and its low-fatigue design.
When the user holds the grip, the upper cylinder body and the lower battery case provide an optimal weight balance. We went for a design that would minimize fatigue even during long hours of work. The movements of muscles when working at various angles, including upward when working on ceilings, sideways when working on walls, and downward when working on floor surfaces, were measured to optimize the design for the best grip shape, angle, and weight balance. The front grip protects the hand from particles and dust produced during drilling; it also allows the drill to be held with both hands for extra stability.

1997Portable minidisc playerSJ-MJ7

1997 Portable minidisc player SJ-MJ7
Good Design Award 1998
Its magnesium-alloy texture brought a strong impact
A portable MD player, the same size as the front of an MD jacket
The SJ-MJ7 brought a strong impact due to its concentric hairline (circular) pattern that evokes an optical disk, on its square body. The circular pattern on rigid magnesium alloy produces a uniquely beautiful gloss. However, it is difficult to process because the material discolors immediately due to oxidization on contact with the atmosphere. Approximately a year was spent in developing new material processing and surface treatment technologies. The LCD on the remote control is angled so that the user can operate the player looking at the upward-facing screen if the remote control is clipped into a chest pocket. The arrow key has a simple shape and is easy to operate without having to look at it.
The beautiful texture with the size same as an MD jacket gained popularity. The circular pattern on magnesium alloy came to symbolize the range of Panasonic portable MD players.

1997Shower unit - Shower with a seatYU-RT21SR series

1997 Shower unit - Shower with a seat YU-RT21SR series
Good Design Universal Design Award 1997
A typical universal design that more people can benefit from
A product for seated showering, developed based on a totally new idea Hot water mist from the nozzles wraps the entire body and warms it in a way similar to bathing. In addition to elderly people with weak lower body strength, physically-disabled people, expectant mothers, and people with heart problems who need to keep their pulse slow can enjoy safe bathing. The YU-RT21SR is also convenient for people who want to shorten their bath time. Both arms can be housed along the wall, so the bathroom can be used by both elderly people requiring nursing care and able-bodied persons living in the same house. This is a typical universal product designed to benefit the maximum number of people.
Development started from a study of showering at Panasonic's Design Department. Initially, a system of installing nozzles in a small room was considered, but its commercialization was abandoned due to its high anticipated cost. Then the idea of a chair and arms provided with nozzles came. By reversing the idea, the system was developed into a unit that can be installed in a bathroom. It took about 7 years, but in the end it was successfully commercialized.

1999Dishwasher and dryerNP-33S1

1999 Dishwasher and dryer NP-33S1
Good Design Award 1999
Designing dishwashers and dryers best suited to Japanese kitchens
Household dishwashers and dryers emerged around 1990 in Japan. However, there was not much uptake by ordinary households due to the limited space available in Japanese kitchens.
The NP-33S1 is an epoch-making dishwasher and dryer that achieved a compact size of just 33 cm in depth. Being aware that in many kitchens there is only about a 30 cm wide space available next to the sink, we created a design and mechanism that would fit into this space. Although waterproofing the door was challenging, a foldable front door that opens vertically to ease the placement and removal of dishes was developed to prevent the door from hitting any kitchen cabinets around it. The product's top is curved to make the NP-33S1 look less bulky when installed in a small space.
Thanks to its compact size, many more households were able to install dishwasher and dryers, and in the end the product was a great hit. The style established by the NP-33S1 influenced the design of subsequent dishwashers and dryers in Japan.