London Design Festival: Uncle Oswald is My Hero

It’s actually the third time exhibiting at 100% Design for Korean design duo Jinsop Lee, and Justin Kim, the guys behind the coolly named Uncle Oswald is My Hero. But the seamless beauty and practicality of their product is worth mentioning a tenfold. The Dreyfuss Special is an MP3 player made from Bakelite telephone handsets created by American industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss in 1949.
The Western Electric Model 500 telephones were popular worldwide but unfortunately being made out of Bakelite, they don’t biodegrade, and are now amassing in landfill sites.

“Our goal was to design a product that people would covet not because it was recycled, but rather because it was a decent looking product that worked well, and just happened to use a recycled component,” says Lee and Kim.
Back at university Lee had already tried to redesign the old handsets as new phones, but later on the pair changed direction, and redesigned them to be used as a stereo speaker system for MP3 players. Thus, opening up the product to a much wider audience and a much younger generation.

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