Paul Crofts designs minimal white amp for Audioberry
The volume dial is the only focal point on London designer Paul Crofts' pared-back amplifier, created for new hi-fi company Audioberry (+ slideshow).
The Junior Amp's smooth white casing — crafted in solid surface material Corian — is otherwise free from the usual lights, switches and inputs.
"Taking inspiration from my memories of the most desirable amplifiers available in my formative years, I focused on the volume control as the central focus of the design," said Crofts.
"By creating an over-scaled dial that would be the visual standout in an otherwise completely scaled back object, the simplicity of the form allows the ultra high-quality sound of the amp to take centre stage."
For Crofts and Audioberry, placing sound quality at the centre of the product meant making a conscious turn away from some of the current trends in audio.
"I was keen to create a product that would bypass the prevailing culture of MP3 docks, which typically need to be replaced with every updated version of the smartphone or MP3 player," Crofts says.
More commonly used for bathroom and kitchen countertops, solid-surface material Corian was chosen for both the amp and remote because of its tactile qualities, durability and purity of colour.
Internally, the amp uses ICEpower technology from Danish electronics giant Bang & Olufsen, and it connects with devices via Bluetooth and Airplay.
Crofts is leading the styling for Audioberry, a UK brand that creates open-source, digital audio products.
The company is unusual in publishing its products' full components list and circuit schematics online.
The Junior Amp is the first product from Audioberry, along with the similarly styled Zula hi-fi.
They recall such minimal mid-century designs as Dieter Rams' audio products for Braun. The German company's functionalist designs are widely credited as the aesthetic reference for Apple creative director Jonathan Ive.
Crofts' other recent projects have been produced with his studio and have ranged from pendant lights to office interiors.
Its design for furniture brand Isomi's London showroom used blackened steel to complement the company's concrete aesthetic.
Designers have recently been finding new and unusual applications for Corian. The material has shown up in jewellery by Marina Stanimirovic, an inflatable chair by Rachel Harding and a waterfront house facade by Koen Olthius.