Trend Informer #1 – Zoned Surfacing

Lately, there has been a trend in auto and product design of allowing surface treatments to intrude into zoned material breaks.

Zoned materials breaks like headlights and screens were previously kept relatively untouched. However, last auto design generation, designers began applying more pronounced surface treatments to them.

This Lexus tail light contains an undulation. This surface treatment is informed by its surroundings, but begins and ends within the tail light zone. At that time, circa 2006, this treatment had not yet trickled down into product design.

When it finally did, it was in the form of the Nokia Lumia 800.

The Lumia 800 has a pillowed screen. Previously, phone screens had been left untouched due to their functional nature. The discontinuation of this treatment in the Lumia 900 suggests that this pillowed surface may have hindered usability.

However, HTC figured out a way to apply this technique without obstructing functionality.

The One X’s screen wraps around the sides of the device, but the actual screen area is flat.

This aesthetic treatment is definitely on the rise. At least as of right now, applying this technique can lend a heaping helping of consumer electronics tech value to any product that might need it.


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