HGST (formerly Hitachi) has built deep respect in the creative professional data storage industry with its G-Speed line. Focused on the unique (and massive) storage needs of users creating high-resolution content out in the field, these devices need to be extremely fast, supremely reliable, and able to be set up in environments ranging from pro editing studios to makeshift tents in the Alaskan frontier.
AWOL Company was challenged with the task of envisioning the next evolution in the G-Speed line. With the launch of Apple’s new cylindrical Mac Pro, as well as other high-end offerings in the PC space, the aesthetic landscape surrounding these demanding professionals shifted away from the aesthetics of the existing G-Speed product portfolio. Given the aesthetic sophistication of these latest digital tools, what would be the right stylistic expression for this deeply respected product line?
Our team first explored a wide range of basic configurations; knowing that the basic rectangular unit of the four interior hard drives couldn’t change, how could they be assembled to create the optimum form and proportions? Via rough sketch and quick physical and CAD mockups, the vertical tower was selected as the optimum architecture due to it’s efficient cooling and minimal physical footprint. Based off that foundation, we explored a range of aesthetic concepts via 2D sketch illustrations showing variations in form, surface sculpting, part break-up, material selection, and points of interaction.
The chosen concept was then modeled in Alias Studio CAD, for multiple rounds of engineering review, prototyping, and design revision until the concept was completely optimized for dimensional efficiency, airflow, manufacturing processes, and usability.
Following those phases, we then extended the line to a smaller 2-drive variation called the G-RAID studio.
Debuting at the 2014 National Association of Broadcasters show, the G-Speed Studio line received the Videographer’s Best in Show award.
Team members: Andy Logan, Chris Clark