A call for modern phones

I sent the following email to Design Witin Reach. It’s opinionated, making an almost drunken attempt to spray bile at manufacturers and retailers in various markets–but they have each failed in mediocre fashion, so I’m maintaining my position.

From: Stephen Hahn
Date: Tue Nov 18, 2003  21:52:05 US/Pacific
To: sales[@]dwr.com
Subject: Telephones?


A class of items I would like to see offered by DWR is modern, design-conscious telephones, philosophically similar to the Modern Fan Company ceiling fans you've offered: a high quality, appropriately featured phone for the small/home office.

Other vendors' products have limitations:

  • Bang and Olufsen have generally overpriced models that are occasionally elegant but can be awkward, even clunky. The materials and colors are uninspired.

  • The "retro" models from Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and the like, are minimally featured and only rarely well made.

  • The consumer electronics companies are pursing a button-based roadmap (more buttons: better phone?) and are almost exclusively cordless.

  • I'll skip the "my entire office should be made of wood" manufacturers who entomb helpless telephones, laser printers, and computers in a cherry shell.

Something like an updated version of the Taurus telephone (Andy Davey for Browns Holdings, 1988), with a caller ID display and a headset jack. Perhaps an aluminum base or a stainless steel handset, like Vertu/Nokia is offering in the mobile space.

(If you know of a manufacturer who is already producing such items, but you don't believe the product fits in the DWR catalog, please pass along a link or other contact.)

Thanks for listening, Stephen

DWR responded promptly, promising to be on the lookout. But I hypothesize that someone must be already making such a telephone–so I open up this topic for comments, suggestions, and links to manufacturers of a modern design telephone.