Whiteout – Finally some DJ equipment you can enjoy looking at

DJ tech stuff means an obscure mass of knobs, wires, lights, faders, more wires, and a few little LED screens. With musicians being nerds in their own way, especially when it comes to technical equipment, their concern is primarily functionality over aesthetics. Whiteout breaks the habit, introducing an ultra-minimal Zen-inspired DJ console.

Whiteout is an alternative design proposal for DJ consoles by Byoung Hoon Woo and Su Hyun Bang, industrial designers from Korea.  

The duo studied the current issues of today’s DJ stations noticing an unnecessary complexity and heavy look, which makes DJing look more difficult than it is. They decided to create a visually light yet charming piece of technical equipment.

A Japanese rock garden or “dry landscape” garden with rocks and rakes in the sand: the designers were inspired by Zen gardens to develop this challenging and compelling change in the traditional appeal of DJing tools.

Whiteout's neat and clean look
Whiteout’s neat and nominal look provides a wider operating space and a more simplified interface

One of the major downsides of designing DJ equipment is that visual aesthetics are generally the last concern.

To create a design that combined a minimal look with all the required functions, Byoung and Su Hyun began to form patterns in a large DIY Zen garden tray filled with sugar. The two jog wheels were placed first, being the main components, along with rocks representing faders and knobs.

After several attempts and combinations, the designers realized that complex shapes were not going to facilitate the use of a controller, resulting in continuous refinement and a much simpler aesthetic. 

The sleek and delicate design is relatively easier to use and carry leaving wider space to manipulate and mix music comfortably.

Design phases for Whiteout
Design phases of creating Whiteout with various patterns formed by the designers in a Zen garden tray filled with sugar

The prototype is a large scale production made in two parts: the detachable parts like jog wheel, faders, knobs, and the turntables were 3D printed and the wiring in the bottom part is hidden with acrylic plates. Whiteout and its neat components are beautiful even when the equipment is not in use.