Radio Film

Animated film mapping the visualised deconstruction of a transistor radio

Radio Film

Occasionally, devising self initiated design briefs - outside of regular client commitments - can provide the perfect opportunity to explore what’s possible with design, develop new skills, form new ideas and opinions, and learn practical processes that could be applied to the next client project.

Design theories

In design theory, philosopher, Marshall McLuhan’s concept, ‘Medium is the Message’ popularised the idea that the means with which a message is communicated can change the meaning of the message itself. This animated film loosely explores the transistor radio as a landmark in 20th Century design, technology and engineering, and its relation to modern media and how we receive information today.

A self initiated project to explore new and old technology

The story of this film began with an old 1960s transistor radio, bought for £5 from a thrift shop in Pimlico. Fascinated by its design and engineering, I completely dismantled the radio, separating out all of its internal, functional parts - from the pulley driven tuning system, to the speakers, to the circuit board - of which I carefully removed all of the electrical components. Using a rostrum camera - I photographed each element from every angle, and in Adobe After Effects, reconstructed a complete 3D model of the original radio.

Exploding in space: technology, culture and drama

What could have been listened to on this old, Oscar Europa radio? By researching the brand and the period the radio was produced, I found it co-incided with 1967, and the first broadcast on BBC Radio 1. Culturally significant and a catalyst for decades of social change, the soundtrack for the film features this very BBC broadcast. I wanted to dissect the technology in context of the cultural history, and vice versa. Click here to watch the film.