Last week, I was waiting for one of my dearest friends, Katie, to get off from her job at Sony. The Sony headquarters is in a beautiful building facing Madison Square Park and has an exhibition space on the ground floor. While waiting for Katie, I checked out the exhibit, Innovation and Design, which prompted me to “Experience the innovation, technology development and importance of design through Sony’s products over the decades.”
What an amazing thing to see! Among the many products Sony has put out over the years, there were also exclusive products only released in Japan I had never heard of. There were demonstrations of size by arranging walkmans and audio recorders next to each other chronologically; products that were too ahead of their time to be profitable, that would now make great “vintage” or “cult” presents; and an interactive aspect of Sony gaming devices hooked up to TV’s of their era with seats and invitations to “go ahead and play!”
The staff in the exhibition space were friendly and gave me a myriad of information about the vintage products, and the new Sony products that mimic some of those earlier designs. The exhibit contained many devices, to name a few: audio recorders, audio players, video cameras, digital cameras, video game consols, televisions, radios, robot dog toys for children, and personal gaming devices.
For some of these products, it was clear why they were unsuccessful on the market—and in seeing the development and evolution of others shed light on some of the aspects of Sony technology that are just plain great design and have been altered and adapted throughout time, but always keeping enough of the original design in mind that they were well-received by the public.
I was so amazed, and surprised by this extensive archive on display in the Sony building! It was great to look at new devices, remember old ones, and learn about some products that came before my time.
-Kelsey Gallagher, LIS-653, Wednesdays 1130-230