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With the speaker market becoming ever so more densely populated, it’s as though semantics and novelties have gone out the window regarding eye-catching differential design. Jimin Lee has designed the iO Radio in the hope of bringing the romance and novel design back into audio electronics. As an abbreviation of Input & Output, this radio has intuitive usability incorporated with alphabet “I” and “O” shape of input part (volume control, channel select) and the output part (speaker). “IO’ helps you to experience new usability, not as controlling buttons or wheels of standard radios. It’s hard to neglect the similarities and nuances between the iO and the Memphis 2.0 design movement. It’s hard to invent a new aesthetic/design movement, and that’s probably why it happens so infrequently. However, that did not stop a young Milanese (Ettore Sottsass) and a small group of other European designers from giving it a real shot. In 1981, their Memphis aesthetic debuted at the Salone del Mobile furniture fair to great acclaim. Apparently inspired by this Bob Dylan song, Memphis was undeniably playful, light-hearted, animated, and chaotic.

Making a warmly welcomed return, the Memphis design aesthetic can be seen in Jimin Lee’s iO Radio. The subtleties are so intricately sprinkled amongst the radio – the pastel colors chosen for the collection and the cones used for varying the volume by a simple twist and controlling the frequency by moving the cone up and down the shaft itself. The iO is a fun interpretation of the radio and certainly steps out from the crowd.

Designer: Jimin Lee

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