CD-Player thumbnail 1
Not currently on display at the V&A

CD-Player

1999 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This small wall-mounted CD-player exemplifies Naoto Fukasawa’s approach to product design. Fukasawa wanted to design an object that would trigger an instinctive or unconscious response in its user. He described this instinctive response as ‘Without Thought’, arguing that products should not need an instruction manual, that their functionality should be evident instinctively.

Fukusawa noted the resemblance between a CD spinning in a player and the rotating blades of a domestic extractor fan. He explored this visual similarity in the CD player’s design. In particular, he sought to incorporate the intrinsic simplicity of the extractor’s operating controls, a simple pull-cord to switch the unit on and off. The resulting CD-player is a coverless wall-mounted unit that at first glance resembles a kitchen or bathroom extractor, complete with power cord hanging below. The cord invites the user to pull it and play the music on the CD via behaviour learnt from other products found in the home. The speakers are contained within the unit, the volume and search controls are found on top of the player.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 6 parts.

  • CD-Player
  • AC Adaptor for CD-Player
  • Wall Fixing for CD-Player
  • CD for CD-Player
  • Box for CD-Player
  • Printed Instructions for CD-Player
Materials and Techniques
Injection-moulded ABS plastic, metal parts, electronic components
Brief Description
Wall mounted CD-Player, designed by Naoto Fukasawa, manufactured for MUJI, 1999
Physical Description
Wall-mounted CD-player with AC adaptor, wall-fixing, sample CD, box and printed instructions.



The unit is a white square with rounded corners. It is coverless, and a CD can be mounted in the centre. The area around the CD hub is covered by a metal mesh which extends up to the edge. The two speakers are located behind the mesh in the bottom corners.

Dimensions
  • Height: 17.1cm
  • Width: 17.1cm
  • Depth: 3.8cm
Production typeMass produced
Gallery Label
(Toshiba Gallery) CD-player 1999 This celebrated design by Naoto Fukasawa reinterprets the conventional CD-player. Wall-mounted for tidiness and inspired by the shape of an extractor fan, the device is controlled by a single pull-cord. Simple in appearance and intuitive to use, the CD-player embodies the principles of the global company Muji, whose name translates as ‘No Brand, Good Quality’. [55] Designed by Naoto Fukasawa (born 1956) for Muji Plastic and metal; electronic components Museum no. W.3-2011 (06/11/2015)
Object history
Purchased by the V&A in 2011.



The name ‘Without Thought’ was given to a yearly programme conducted by the Diamond Design Management Network and IDEO Japan. Japanese designers were invited to attend and encouraged to explore the concept of intuition within product design. The CD-player was Fukusawa’s contribution to the programme in in 1999.

Historical context
This object is the first dedicated CD-player to enter the V&A’s collection. It is a coverless wall-mounted unit that at first glance resembles a kitchen or bathroom extractor, complete with power cord hanging below. The cord invites the user to pull it and play the music on the CD via behaviour learnt from other products found in the home.

Summary
This small wall-mounted CD-player exemplifies Naoto Fukasawa’s approach to product design. Fukasawa wanted to design an object that would trigger an instinctive or unconscious response in its user. He described this instinctive response as ‘Without Thought’, arguing that products should not need an instruction manual, that their functionality should be evident instinctively.



Fukusawa noted the resemblance between a CD spinning in a player and the rotating blades of a domestic extractor fan. He explored this visual similarity in the CD player’s design. In particular, he sought to incorporate the intrinsic simplicity of the extractor’s operating controls, a simple pull-cord to switch the unit on and off. The resulting CD-player is a coverless wall-mounted unit that at first glance resembles a kitchen or bathroom extractor, complete with power cord hanging below. The cord invites the user to pull it and play the music on the CD via behaviour learnt from other products found in the home. The speakers are contained within the unit, the volume and search controls are found on top of the player.
Collection
Accession Number
W.3:1 to 6-2011

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record createdJuly 12, 2011
Record URL