Future of Domestic Dishes - Useful Can Be Beautiful

Future of Domestic Dishes - Useful Can Be Beautiful

A key principle of modern design is that form follows function. That doesn’t mean we should ignore form completely – yet that’s precisely what seems to have happened with the domestic satellite dish. With a design that has changed little over the last 40 years, satellite dishes dot our view through cities, suburbs and the countryside. There are more than 300 million dishes around the world, and they all look more or less the same. Few would consider the design as particularly beautiful.

Recognizing the visual impact that domestic satellite dishes have on public space, we challenged the students of leading British industrial design schools to create a satellite dish with the notion that useful can be beautiful. Recent consumer trends show a greater focus on aesthetics in consumer electronics. Consumers are ready to spend more on outdoor equipment, and the devices that enhance their life at home. Exploring ways to make the domestic satellite dish more of a lifestyle item, would be an interesting exercise to spark discussion in the industry, and engage designers to help transform an object we see everyday.

A successful design should combine technical function with form, material, and aesthetics – transforming satellite reception into something that’s as stunning visually as it is technologically. We were impressed by the number and creativity in submissions we received.

We awarded first place to Shudong Deng for his “Dragon” design. Shudong is a Chinese student from Imperial College London. Robert Edwin Rouse, a British student from the Royal College of Art, took second place with his “Blossom” concept, and Julian Goldman, an American student at the Pratt Institute, took third place with his “Calla” design.

Dish Design Competition award ceremony

This first initiative has already started to raise awareness in the industry about the aesthetic possibilities of satellites dishes. Our next step will be to work an industrial design agency to explore new possible design directions and functionalities that can enhance the TV viewing experience. Further down the development process, we will work with a satellite antenna manufacturer to evolve these designs into fully functioning prototypes, and then find the right operator or service provider to launch them into the market.

Watch the video for a sneak preview of how satellite dishes could look in the near future. Or contact us to discuss partnering for production.