O-product, designed for Olympus in 1987, is a camera that marked the beginning of Shunji Yamanaka’s career as a freelance designer. The bold design of the limited-edition camera communicates the mechanical functionalities of the camera that were often hidden away behind bland black plastic casing in most 80’s camera design. The distinctive “futuretro” appearance drew inspirations diverse sources ranging from classic aluminum and steel cameras of the 1950s and 1960s to Terry Gilliam’s film Brazil depicting a technology-driven civilization. The stamped aluminum housing displays three types of surface finishes resulting from spinning, sandblasting, and polishing. The wildly popular design sold well, won numerous design awards, and has been incorporated into a number of permanent museum collections.

MATERIALS: Aluminum, Plastic / DIMENSIONS: 99x82x45mm / PROJECT STARTED: June 1987 / COMPLETED: November 1988 / DESIGN: Shunji Yamanaka / CONCEPT WORK: Naoki Sakai / CLIENT: Olympus Corporation