Whipsaw Takes Industrial Design to New Heights With These Smart-Home Products
Industrial designers are constantly challenged to balance aesthetic vision against technological possibility. That’s why Whipsaw CEO and founder Dan Harden considers design and engineering to be equally important parts of his work. It’s also the reason he named his studio after the two-person woodworking tool, which symbolizes the push and pull of those disciplines. “In the most sublime concept,” he says, “the engineering solution and the design solution are inseparable.”
Whipsaw’s portfolio contains several examples of this combination—from chairs to genome-sequencing machines. Some reimagine and beautify household products, such as the TP-Link Deco series of Wi-Fi mesh devices or the WDL Washing Machine. Some look to the future, like the Bizzy Robotics Home Robot, designed to do simple chores, while others are classic: The bentwood form of the Skrolla chair was perhaps inspired by Harden’s early internship with George Nelson. And an early entrant in the home-gym space is Tonal, which uses electromagnetic resistance instead of gravity. Practically, that means the system can sense the user’s performance capacity and adjust the weight automatically. Visually, that translates to fewer moving parts, thus it’s elegant and minimalist when mounted on the wall.
“You have to get into the head of the consumer,” Harden says in reference to the success of his products, some of which are in “Milestones of Contemporary Design” at the Red Dot Museum in Essen, Germany, til spring 2023.
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