The Disco Volante Turntable Revolves Around Identified Flying Objects

Disco Volante translates to “flying saucer” in Italian, and is a moniker most associated with the sculptural and streamlined 1952 Alfa Romeo two-seater coupé  – a low slung gesture of aluminum sculpted into the service of aerodynamics. And at first glance, industrial designer Oscar Olsson’s fully automatic Disco Volante wall-mounted turntable concept looks to share nothing with its automotive counterpart. Yet some similarities arise on closer inspection.

A vibrant orange Disco Volante Turntable with a spinning vinyl record, set against a plain gray background.

Viewed from certain angles, the Disco Volante is also evocative of the iconic Valentine typewriter for Olivetti designed by Ettore Sottsass.

Designed as an exercise in deconstruction set to answer the question, “If I would make a turntable today, how would it look like?” Olsson’s decision to separate each turntable component into distinct elements lends to a more playful form in service of function revealing a delightful surprise once set into action.

A minimalist Disco Volante Turntable with a transparent platter and an orange arm against a plain white background.

Hand-drawn sketch of a wall-mounted swivel tone arm, depicted in a detailed, technical style with visible sketch lines and shading.

“The main driver of the design is the sharp contrast between the organic and vivid tonearm housing, and the rational and geometric metal framework,” explains Olsson.

A modern, minimalist red and silver wall-mounted reel-to-reel record player viewed from underneath revealing a hinged platter arm

“This separation makes it appear as though the tonearm housing is a separate instrument that plays the record.” With its hinged platter lifted from a perpendicular resting position, records seemingly float, creating the appearance of its extraterrestrial vessel namesake. Additionally, the tonearm housing shares an undulating organic curvature, the same flowing forms imparting the Alfa Romeo coupé its memorable silhouette.

Close-up of a vibrant orange Disco Volante Turntable tonearm and stylus on a vinyl record, highlighting intricate features and texture, with dial to the right.

“With Disco Volante I wanted to utilize each material’s unique properties, and by doing so letting them largely influence the form,” says Olsson about the turntable’s machined steel framework. “It offers a rigid foundation for the turntable, meanwhile the molded, funky plastic tonearm housing plays the main role visually. The overall proportions and composition were also well thought out to aesthetically create a well-balanced architecture.”

Close-up of an orange wall mounted turntable anti-skate control dial.

The Disco Volante isn’t Olsson’s first rodeo when it comes to designing a concept turntable. The designer has been experimenting with the vertical configuration for a few years now, with his previous effort resulting in a record player displaying the pragmatism of a Dieter Rams designed device, one contrasted by the emotionally expressive Disco Volante.

Side by side yellow and green versions of the Disco Volante wall mounted turntable, each focused upon the tone arm housing.

For more details about the Disco Volante, check out Oscar Olsson’s Instagram where more colors and animation of the turntable in action is on display.

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