When Dezeen published a competition to design a stand for Samsung’s new QLED TVs, I was intrigued by the challenge. This was a design problem I had already been considering as I looked for a functional stand for my own Samsung TV.
Samsung asked contestants to rethink the TV stand so it would feel like a lifestyle product instead of a technology product. One of the key design requirements was to integrate Samsung’s Invisible Connection wire. This is a thin wire that connects to an external hub with inputs for other devices. This allows the TV to be placed anywhere in the room without a tangle of wires behind it.
Having grown up admiring the works of Dieter Rams, Jony Ive, and Richard Sapper, minimalism was my lifestyle choose. The contest called for either table or floor stands. Considering the Invisible Connection technology and my desire to remove unnecessary components, I opted for a floor stand. A floor stand allow users to place the TV anywhere in the room without the need for a cabinet.
I started the design process researching floor stands from other manufacturers too see what was already available. From there I began sketching and ideating to conceive a new design that followed the principles of less is more. I wanted the stand to give the screen a sense of levitation. To achieve this aesthetic, I removed elements that were not necessary and minimized the vertical supports to a single arm. Drawing inspiration from architectural handrails, I continued the support on the floor to create a base. This design gives the eye a continuous line to follow from screen to floor.
The support arm has a concealed channel for power and Invisible Connection wires to be funneled through. This functionality preserves the levitating aesthetic while allowing the stand to be viewed from all angels. I wanted the opening for the cords to be practical while also elegant in appearance. A narrow slit along the seams with beveled edges achieved both.
During the design phase I was considering what materials the stand should be made of and what finishes could be applied. A material that intrigued me for this tubular design was carbon graphite. I liked this material because it has a higher tensile strength than aluminum or steel and has a beautiful almost granite like finish. Considering the manufacturing process that would be involved to make this stand and the costs associated with carbon graphite, I choose steel. Competing stands in the market commonly use metal as the primary material and are priced around $1000 USD. Using carbon graphite would send the MSRP above $1000 and make it less competitive in the marketplace.
To finish the steel construction, I opted for a polished chrome. Chrome is a timeless finish that has a high quality appearance. The mirror like properties of chrome allow the stand to blend with it’s environment. This decision was influenced by Samsung’s desire for a TV to be a lifestyle product instead of a technology product.