jasper morrison strips down the mobile phone to its bare minimum for punkt.
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

 

swiss design-led technology company, punkt. is bringing mobile phones back to their raw essence with the ‘mp 01’. designed by jasper morrison, the idea behind the ‘mp 01’ was to simplify things, with a streamlined device that performs the core functions – calling and texting. things like social media apps, notifications or sports alerts were thrown out the window. 

 

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the device only performs the core functions: calling and texting
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

 

designboom spoke to jasper morrison about his own personal activity with mobile phones and how he thinks they have influenced our social culture.

 

 

DB: what was your first cellphone? was it the beginning of the end of disconnection? 

 

jasper morrison: I think it was a rather bulky sony with a slide-up screen. as I was travelling quite a lot it was a great help, so probably an end to disconnection.

 

 

DB: how often do you have your cellphone on you? every minute? do you shut it off at all? 

 

JM: most of the time, but I still manage to miss most calls!

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made from durable materials 
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

 

DB: for years now, the form of popular smartphones hasn’t changed at all. will we be always looking at a touch-screen? 

 

JM: yes, I think until they invent something easier touch screens will rule.

 

 

 

DB: your latest cellphone project strips it to its bare minimum. how did you go about deciding which features needed to be tossed? 

 

JM: actually the brief was already set: to design a basic mobile phone with just calls and texting. petter neby wanted to create a mobile like that and we designed it as small and as handy as possible, while maintaining maximum battery power. it’s the phone you should throw in your backpack when you set off for a walk in the mountains! it’s not intended as an iPhone killer, we are pretty realistic about that, but as an option to detach; or a phone for your kids. I think it has its place.

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the screen is made from a specialized thin, light and damage-resistant glass 
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

 

debuting at 2015 london design festival, the ‘mp 01’ has been made using durable materials including a high specification camera paint finish and a screen made from a specialized thin, light and damage-resistant glass. the handset has a soft touch texture and a patterned back plate to make it comfortable to hold and allow it to sit easily on any surface. the punkt. ‘mp 01’ has been mass produced to create a rugged and tough device that is built to last.   

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the textured back plate 
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

the phone has a monochromatic surface, large round buttons and a streamlined interface for easy use. and, in keeping with simplicity, it features a two inch LCD display, a high-quality speaker with noise cancellation and long lasting battery life. a bluetooth connection allows use for car systems and headsets. the link can also backup and sync contacts to a PC or mac. in addition to calls and SMS messages, the ‘mp 01’ has a clear calendar and clock function. morrison, also the artistic director at punkt., has framed the handset as a device that delivers the essential handset experience. 

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only other features include a clock and a basic calendar 
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

designboom also spoke to punkt. founder petter neby who elaborated on the development of the ‘mp 01’, and his personal views on cellphone culture and its affect on our social behaviours.

 

 

designboom: what was your first cellphone?
 
petter neby: one of the first was ericsson’s ‘GH 337’.

 

 
DB: how often do you have your cellphone on you? every minute?
 
PN: when travelling and working, almost always. a normal day is to switch it off at the end of a working day, and then be available for calls only (on a separate phone).

 

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profile view of the ‘mp 01’
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

 

DB:  for years now, the form of popular smartphones hasn’t changed at all? will we be always looking at a touch screen?
 
PN: I hope not, at least not only touch-screen, since I believe there is much value in a physical keyboard.

 

 

 
DB: your latest cellphone project strips it to its bare minimum. how did you go about deciding which features needed to be tossed?

 
PN: it involved tedious and long study and testing. we have spent 4 years building it, where much attention has been given to which peripheral services  – other than call and SMS, are really important. so decisions have been made on the basis of testing it a real world context.punkt-jasper-morrison-mp-01-mobile-phone-designboom-gallery04
view of the interface
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

 

DB: do cellphones actually keep us better connected to each other? or are they just portable distractions?
 
PN: if you say cellphones, as in having a conversation, rather than corresponding via text/email/social media/etc, I think that it can be both. a good conversation can truly make us connect on a rich emotional scale, but some of the other features can be a distraction.

 

 
DB: at what age is it appropriate to hand someone their first cellphone? smartphone?
 
PN: I would say neither before the age of 14.

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the interface features large round buttons 
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

 

DB: is society addicted to their smartphones? should we go to rehab for it? 
 

PN: yes we are, and I believe that it is a very serious sociological issue. we have learned that smoking wasn’t healthy, now we are slowly understanding that sugar, or too much fat, is a serious issue. smartphones are wonderful tools as they can service us in so many positive ways, but misuse of smartphones, or other always-on-always-here devices, is a serious social issue and we have to come to terms with what it does with us and to society. it is analogous to having candy all day long, which you might crave, but you really don’t want because you know what it does to you. most of us will not need to go to rehab, but we need to be conscious of what it does to us and our surrounding, and more often choose water from vodka or a fruit from a snickers bar.

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the ‘mp 01’ has a two inch LCD display 
image courtesy of punkt.

 

 

the punkt. ‘mp 01’ will initially be released in black, with two additional color-ways in 2016. it is on show at the somerset house from september 21st-27th, 2015 during the london design festival.

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‘mp 01’ designer jasper morrison 
image courtesy of jasper morrison

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punkt. founder petter neby 
image courtesy of punkt.