Modems and routers are so ugly that there exists a category of object designed specifically to hide them.
Industrial designer Shane Schneck, however, figured out how to make them attractive and unobtrusive over a decade ago. Schneck is founder of the Stockholm-based firm Office for Design, and this Playn Router was one of their early projects for Huawei, circa 2009:
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“Modems and related devices are most often intrusive ‘black boxes’ in the home environment and require tools for mounting,” Schneck writes. “As a result they end up on the floor in a cable tangle.”
“To elevate the router from this unwanted scenario and optimize antenna performance we employed an archetypal shape. The L form fits comfortably in the domestic space resting on books, corners and the desktop.”
It’s a pity this didn’t become the standard, rather than the Star Trek props we’re stuck with now.