RT 20 thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

RT 20

Radio
1963 (designed), 1963 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

The RT 20 table radio is a typical design by Dieter Rams for the West German manufacturer, Braun. It is an essay in visual simplicity, with no extraneous details or decoration. The front face of the radio slants slightly upwards to improve the legibility of the controls, and to cast the sound from the single loud speaker further into the room. The speaker itself is concealed behind the fascia with only pierced lines to indicate its presence. There is a natural logic to the placement of the controls that contributes to the timeless elegance of the appliance. Designs by Dieter Rams were always extremely functionalist but they also relied on a sense of intuition from their users, which softened and humanized them. His work continues to exert a strong influence on contemporary product designers including Jasper Morrison, Industrial Facility and Jonathan Ive at Apple Inc.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Beechwood, powder-coated sheet steel, plastic, electrical components
Brief description
RT 20 Radio, beechwood, sheet steel, designed by Dieter Rams, made by Braun, 1963
Physical description
Radio, oblong beechwood box with a white powder-coated sheet steel fascia tilted slightly backwards. The proper left side of the fascia is pierced with slots forming a circular loud speaker and the controls are on the proper right.
Dimensions
  • Height: 257mm
  • Width: 500mm
  • Including control knobs depth: 180mm
Measured from the object
Production typeMass produced
Marks and inscriptions
  • BRAUN (Manufacturers logo, printed in black on the fascia)
  • höhen tiefen volumen ein aus phono lang mittel ukw sender (Names of control knobs, in German, printed in black on the fascia.)
Summary
The RT 20 table radio is a typical design by Dieter Rams for the West German manufacturer, Braun. It is an essay in visual simplicity, with no extraneous details or decoration. The front face of the radio slants slightly upwards to improve the legibility of the controls, and to cast the sound from the single loud speaker further into the room. The speaker itself is concealed behind the fascia with only pierced lines to indicate its presence. There is a natural logic to the placement of the controls that contributes to the timeless elegance of the appliance. Designs by Dieter Rams were always extremely functionalist but they also relied on a sense of intuition from their users, which softened and humanized them. His work continues to exert a strong influence on contemporary product designers including Jasper Morrison, Industrial Facility and Jonathan Ive at Apple Inc.
Collection
Accession number
W.13-2007

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Record createdApril 9, 2008
Record URL
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