Feature Design Monolithic Design
Feature Design Monolithic Design

The expanding realm of Monolithic Design

Matsuoka: We have defined the following three elements of Monolithic Design.

First is something we call "On/Off Conscious." We want to highlight the beauty of the device as a high-performance TV when it's on. When it's off, we want it to fade gracefully into the surroundings as an object of sculptural art. Whether they're on or off, the sets exude high-performance and other desirable qualities.

Next is "6° Upward Style." At eye level on a stand, large-screen TVs can be truly overwhelming. Ditch the stand, lower the screen, and tilt the screen slightly up instead (by 6°), and it's not only easier to watch but it frees your living room from that overbearing presence. This may tempt you to update your living room in general—by replacing any old, worn-out stands with a stylish low cabinet, for example.

And last, "Contrast of Materials." Here, we sought an alluring sense of contrast from a combination of different materials, which we hope you'll appreciate. The base and the sides are aluminum, and the front is glass. We coordinated the contrasting textures and qualities of these genuine materials, which harmonize with each other.

Of course, in televisions as in other products, styling should be tailored for the particular series or category. That's why some new sets may not present all three design elements. Still, Monolithic Design is the unifying concept for our line as a whole. Aesthetically, you've found a good solution if you're looking for a consistent ambiance in your living room.

A home theater that will update your living room

Suzuki: Monolithic Design appears in Blu-ray disc players, surround-sound speakers, and other home theater products. In all cases, our goal is the ultimate expression of the essence of the component. Excessive elements are avoided, as you would expect with subtractive design.

Making televisions and other products look nicely balanced together was something we were careful about. If other components are too slim—whether because manufacturers believe TV sets should dominate the living room or just because thin is in—they end up looking insubstantial in comparison. Instead, a sturdy framework is more natural and gives components a sense of presence. And besides avoiding excessive slimness, we must avoid what's fake. We think this brings us closer to the essence of AV equipment and our goals in Monolithic Design.

The simpler product design seems, the harder we must sometimes work to arrange it with our engineers and adjust the production line. Other home theater components are produced differently than televisions. To be exact, we can't use the same styling techniques. In pursuit of contrasting materials in these products, we might try plastic instead of aluminum, but with the kind of body involved, surfaces inevitably became a little warped. Maybe the materials just don't support our original design goals. Normally we might overcome this by introducing a subtle curve or adopting special coatings. But smoke and mirrors are unacceptable in creating the "ultimate panel" according to Monolithic Design. So we reconsider the issue from the standpoint of production. We try several approaches as we come closer to the ideal texture and flatness of metal.

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