10 Celebrity Designer Gadgets

By Pete Bennett on at

Thanks to the influence of a certain Cupertino-based company, sleek, well-designed gadgets are becoming the norm -- in fact, we're at a point now when almost all mainstream consumer electronics look eerily similar, amirite Samsung?

It wasn't always this way; remember your first mobile phone? VHS player? desktop? Odds are it was an uninspired afterthought that valued function over form. Since then, the whole consumer electronic industry has watched Apple turn into an economic superpower on the back of pedalling super-styled gadgetry. Suddenly Jony Ive is a household name. Tim Cook on the other hand -- not so much.

Here's a rundown of ten of the best celebrity designer-designed designs, for -- you know -- DESIGN week.


1.) Yves Béhar's Jawbone Jambox
Béhar's original Jawbone Bluetooth headset not only caught the attention of the tech community, but also the design one, after being exhibited at the San Fransico Museum of Modern Art. Béhar was turned to again to design the stunning Jambox range of speakers, which featured a perforated stainless steel grill that not only looked purty, but also reflected sound in geometric patterns, providing a distinct sound pattern. [Jawbone Jambox]


2.) Marc Newson's Pentax K-01
Marc Newson tells us that, because he lives in a visual world, he jumped at the chance of designing a camera -- lucky Pentax! The K-01's bold design stands out amongst the competition, a purposeful decision by Newson. He saw the opportunity to use design as a key differentiator from the boxy, boring competition. [Pentax]


3.) Karim Rashid's Saturn TV Bath


Karim Rashid, famed purveyor of well-designed blobs, has probably hit the pinnacle of his illustrious career with his TV-integrated bath for South Korean bathmen, Saturn Bath. The insane TV TUB comes equipped with DVD player, MP3 player and an internet browser. [Saturn]


4.) Philippe Starck's Lacie Hard Drive
Philippe Starck's wonderful hard drive design for Lacie looks the part with its 2mm-thick aluminium case that not only helps protect the drive from knocks, but also improves heat dissipation. [LaCie]


5.) Lord Norman Foster's Emerald Super Yacht


You can keep your Gherkin. Norman Foster's real masterpiece is this 41-metre Emerald Super Yacht. This insane boat has five luxurious suites designed to accommodate a dozen of the luckiest gits in the world. No decedent stone has been left unturned; next to the on-board cappuccino bar is a children's game station area, seriously. [Image Credit: SuperYacht Times]



6.) Frank Gehry's Facebook Campus


Those social network hipsters over at Facebook have enlisted the help of starchitecht Frank Gehry to help design their new campus. Clean lines and roof trees make this design a real winner. [Wired]


7.) Naoto Fukasawa's MUJI CD Player


Inspired by the spinning of a desk fan, Naoto Fukasawa's classic CD player design for Muji lets you play music with the simple tug of a cord. The design is so iconic that it has become part of the permanent collection at New York's Museum of Modern Art. [Naoto Fukasawa; Image Credit: Numelo]


8.) Dieter Rams's Braun DW30 Watch



Dieter Rams, granddaddy of all Apple's goodness, designed some of the sexiest gadgets ever during his "less, but better" rule at Braun. This 2012 reissue of his 1978 DW30 watch updates the classic with a new digital LCD display. [Braun watches]


9.) Sam Hect and Kim Colin's Carhartt WIP Jetlag Alarm Clock
British designers Sam Hect and Kim Colin have managed to cram a fully-functional travel alarm clock into the footprint of something less than half the size of a passport. The pocketable clock simply displays the current time and the alarm time, nothing else. But just  look at it -- beautiful. [Carhartt]


10.) Richard Sapper's Knoll Monitor Arm Collection

German designer Richard Sapper is considered one of the most successful designers of our generation. His Tizio lamp is a bona fide classic, but it's his monitor arm collection that's really got us salivating.  Each monitor beam can hold up to four monitors -- never has a crazy desktop rig looked sexier. [Knoll]

This week, we're celebrating the many facets of modern design on Gizmodo UK, with a design theme week, in association with Nokia. Bookmark this page for all related stories, features, interviews and competitions, or contact us here with tips.