Slice of Living 2018

Soft Minimalism

Embedding the viewing experience into day-to-day living

What do designers need to focus on? One of the keys is figuring out how to give TVs comfortable, natural spots to occupy in living spaces and “nestle” the devices into day-to-day life. That vision comes together in “Soft Minimalism”, a concept that fuses warm, welcoming shapes and textures with no-frill configurations to deepen the viewing experience.

Occupying the space between harmony and emphasis

When designers are looking at ways to harmonize TVs with living spaces, a piece of art can be an inspiration. Artwork and sculptures manage to function as natural inhabitants of the space despite incorporating attention-capturing visual attributes. Blending the elements “harmony” and “emphasis,” two seemingly incongruous characteristics, art fills spaces with unique tones that resonate with comfort and luxury. The “Soft Minimalism” concept centres on uniting the discreet and the noticeable into the look of a TV as an actual object.

Welcoming shapes
Man sitting in a chair
Comfortable textures
Tactile surfaces
Luxurious curtains
Coloured grey plates

Easy to be around: an important quality for people and TVs

In the same way that it’s more comfortable to be around people who are warm, a TV design needs to have warmth to add value to a room and weave its way into the fabric of everyday life. If TVs could find that balance of form and function, of harmony and emphasis, people would have more choice with how a TV fits their home. While minimalist designs may be vital in creating an immersive viewing experience, they run the risk of feeling cold and inorganic.

When “Soft Minimalism” is achieved, the result is a TV that wows. When it’s on, the design eliminates extraneous elements to maximize the power of the visual experience. When it’s off, it resides comfortably in its element, harmonizing with the space around it like a piece of beautiful artwork.

We live in an age where simplicity and comfort are dominant themes that are more achievable than ever. Emerging from these ideals, the concept of “Soft Minimalism” shapes a new embodiment of what a TV can be.

How new value can grow out of antinomy

We’re always trying to find new experiences and new value in antinomy, the contradictory, paradoxical elements of design. The “Soft Minimalism” concept is basically proposing a “white black.” On the one hand, it’s got an emphatic visual presence—but on the other hand, it blends into spaces with the cool, withdrawn feel of a video system. For us, the focus was on developing a TV that would balance those two contradictory dimensions and resonate with today’s lifestyles.

Tako, Chief Art Director

A presence to behold, accentuating the space

The BRAVIA™ stand, emulating the exquisite presence of a sculpture, features a simple structure of square, metallic bars that come into contact with the underlying surface at individual points—a design that creates the kind of unique sense of balance and tension that you find in art gallery displays. 

Thanks to its sturdy and thoughtful construction, which uses an inverted V-shape to ensure stability, the stand creates the ideal space for a soundbar to call home, whilst harmonizing gracefully with the aesthetics of living spaces.

This BRAVIA OLED TV features a minimal two-panel structure with one for the stand and one for the screen. By rounding the edges of the panels, the team accentuated the design's sleek configuration to create a lighter, airier feel.

The screen turns off but the style stays on

Not everything in a living space has a specific function; artwork and sculptures, for example, don’t actually do anything. An idle TV falls into that category too. Works of art produce a kind of energy and richness by just being there—and we wanted to see if we could make TVs do the same thing. That’s why we adopted a new perspective in formulating the “Soft Minimalism” approach. Instead of seeing the physical presence of a TV as a distraction to eliminate, we reimagined it as a meaningful asset.

Yokota, Art Director

Comfortable solidarity

Often, the mix and jumble of different things in a living space is what brings the entire room together. To incorporate that kind of complementary heterogeneity into BRAVIA™, the design team aligned the angles of the stand and the soundbar casing—two visually disparate elements—for a more comfortable fit.

The smooth, gentle contours of handmade craftwork

Hand-crafted shapes have the natural ability to deliver the perfect fit—whether you’re holding a plate in your hand, sitting in a chair, or grasping a tool. The BRAVIA™ design team sought to capture that feel through a variety of tweaks, such as rounding the corners of the bezel and soundbar casing to create a soft, gentle form.

Patterns and materials that reveal functional beauty

BRAVIA™ designers took innovative approaches to the back panel of the TV. The design incorporates heat-release slits and terminal covers into a network of geometric patterns, for example, making the TV look as elegant from the back as it does from the front. The soundbar, meanwhile, features a unique amalgam of different materials that not only reinforces the functional purpose of components with a visual touch but also enriches the aesthetic harmony between the overall design and the surrounding space.

The key is finding balance

A soundbar can generate the kind of audio that a TV can’t produce by itself—and it’s capable of rendering sound in high dimensions without much effort. In designing the soundbar, we focused on finding a higher order balance that’d make its presence, affinity with the TV, and harmony with the interior space all fall into place.

Wada, Senior Manager

Bringing people and TVs into a warmer, more comfortable relationship, the BRAVIA™ design represents a new step forward for viewing experiences in living spaces.