How do you add more aesthetic value to a television? You can gussy up the housing to make it pretty, but Yves Béhar and Samsung have taken things a step further and are forging into new UX territory. Their collaboration has yielded The Frame, a new sort of television—and non-television—experience.
Starting with the notion that an unwatched television is essentially an ugly black rectangle, Béhar asked “What if the TV disappeared in the décor when it’s not in use?” To that end, when The Frame is shut off, it goes into “Art Mode” and displays artwork.
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“Big deal, a screensaver?” you say. Not exactly; Samsung hired art curator Elise Van Middelem to assemble a collection. “The Frame includes artists from the four corners of the world, from Southeast Asia to Canada, and from South Africa to Europe,” Van Middelem writes. “We chose to select 100 artworks to start, divided into a variety of categories: Landscapes, Architecture, Wild Life, Drawing, Digital Art, Action, Still Life, Patterns, Urban Abstract and From Above; this would allow The Frame viewers to have the feeling of owning a curated art collection of museum quality.”
[We collaborated] with 38 artists around the world in creating the most comprehensive, accessible, and stunning museum-quality art collection, exclusively for The Frame.
For each artist, whether emerging or established, participating within The Frame is a step out of their comfort zone. After all, we were asking them to show their work in an entirely new platform. Not only is this a digital interface, but it is in the homes of people all around the world. For these artists, the embracing of experimentation is what led them to provide their work for this collection – and for this – I thank them.
The Frame is imbued with sensors, so when nobody’s in the room, it shuts off; when it detects people in its vicinity, it turns back on. It also reads the ambient lighting conditions and adjusts its own backlighting such “to make the art look as real as possible,” says Béhar.
The result is art that blends in the environment in the same way that printed photography or a painted canvas would look. When you buy The Frame, you are also investing in these artists – pulling work specifically for this display, and presented as a piece of stunning artwork in your home.
We view The Frame as an entry into home décor and art – allowing people to build a personal collection in an accessible, affordable manner. The Frame shifts our paradigm of what a television can be; on or off, it adds value to our walls and our daily life. With The Frame, we believe the flat black box on a wall can be transformed into personal style and daily inspirations.
The Frame, which can either be hung like a painting or mounted in its included stand, will be available this Spring. And I have to say it looks very cool in action: