Samsung The Frame

A home is an expression of personal taste, functional needs and interests. Every piece of furniture, every work of art on the wall, every object, becomes part of an aesthetic and style. The television is no exception.  Whether it is small or large it has a strong visual presence in a room, even if you try to hide it. In our smaller homes and apartments, when a television is off its black square takes up valuable real estate.

As part of an ongoing collaboration with Samsung, we began to think about the television not as a consumer electronics product, but as part of our home and of our daily life. What if the TV display in my home delivered a different experience? What if the TV disappeared in the décor when it’s not in use?

The Frame is a beautiful display designed specifically to bring walls to life whether it is in use or not.  When someone turns entertainment TV off, rather than going to black, the display goes into ‘Art Mode.’ We worked with world-renown curator Elise Van Middelem to find stunning works of art exclusive to The Frame - more than 100 pieces across 10 diverse genres, scanned at 4000K resolution and shown in Ultra High Definition (UHD). The Frame is not just another television, but a new experience of displays in the home.


Rather than designing a product that only comes to life when watching entertainment, we began to think about a display that offers new inspiration in our lives. This TV would become a part of our lifestyle, constantly adding value to the home whether or not it is in use. But just adding art works to a TV wasn't the solution.  Instead, we sought to design the future of displays in the home.

- The Frame is the first sensor-based display that adapts to the environment throughout the day with automated brightness and presence capabilities.

- The Frame is an art platform with internationally recognized artists, allowing the display to become a virtual museum in the home.

- The Frame can be customized from natural materials chosen by the owner and makes the display to blend with the home décor.

While the idea of a display showing artwork is not new, the fundamental difference with The Frame is that art is at the core of its design and experience. Enlisting the support of internationally acclaimed curator Elise Van Middelem, Samsung has partnered with renowned artists to show their work in a digital gallery exclusive for The Frame. Artists represent all cultures and backgrounds, with works in some of the most prestigious museums around the world: from Luisa Lambri, whose work has been featured at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Museum of New York, to Todd Eberle, who has done solo exhibitions at Art Institute of Chicago and Tate Modern, to Barry McGee, whose highly influential work in urban art has completely transformed the genre.


For The Frame’s physical design, we looked to the art world experts – ensuring that every aspect of the display properly presents the work. Rather than built-in matting, we have added this in digitally: in ultra high-definition, it appears absolutely real. We consulted with expert framers from some of the most prestigious museums to format digital matting and display details. The Frame’s physical bezel is customizable, with white, black, and wood veneer available at launch. The smooth visual transition from Art mode to the entertainment 16:9 aspect ratio, is both beautiful and a magical moment in the Frame experience.

Subtle details of the industrial design help build a clean and minimal overall aesthetic. While The Frame can be hung or mounted, we have also designed a detachable stand to allow it to be freestanding – the uniform aesthetic is minimal and understated.

To ensure The Frame display doesn’t waste power unnecessarily the sensors detect movement in the room, and turn the display off if no one is present. Sensors are on the bottom of the frame, hidden inside to see 100 degrees of movement.  If someone approaches from any angle, it will still sense them, and turn back on. These sensors also detect light.  Depending on the lighting in the room, the backlighting from the display will change to make the art look as real as possible.


From the early concepting rounds, the experience team had to solve a core problem: how can you fundamentally transform the interaction (and experience) of a device that’s been so central to our living environment for over 80 years? The challenge was complex, but the solution needed to be simple.

We understood very early in the process that if the user had to go through menus or commands within the existing UI of the TV, the core value proposition would never be achieved. Through ideation, concepting, and prototyping – we resolved on an elegant and magical solution that replaced the “power” button on the remote with an “art” button. Art, became the new Off, and in turn became a central experience principle that drove the design & experience definition of the product. And importantly, this integrated solution to ‘art mode’ also ensured 100% user adoption.

The digital interface of ‘Art Mode’ became as important a design challenge as the form itself. Here, the important distinction is the classification of “Mode.” By establishing this as a top level mode, we were able to create two distinct UI environments for The Frame, without the need to rewrite the entire OS. This saved millions of dollars in development costs.

It also allowed “art mode” to have its own UI design that respected the integrity of the art and the gallery aesthetic, while remaining accessible to any user. We designed a gallery-style platform utilizing a clean, minimalist aesthetic similar to a traditional gallery. In the gallery setting, users can explore art by artist or genre, selecting which pieces get displayed.

Each artwork is converted to digital media through the highest scanning standards and looks stunning and real. Artworks can be shown with white or color mattes and other framing conventions according to the artist’s preferences. In addition, the brightness sensor adjusts the image based on the room lighting, making artworks closely resemble the original. The result is art that blends in the environment in the same way that printed photography or a painted canvas would look. When you buy The Frame, you are also investing in these artists – pulling work specifically for this display and presented as a piece of stunning artwork in your home.

The Frame display doesn’t waste power unnecessarily, as the sensors detect movement in the room, and turn the display off if no one is present. Sensors are on the bottom of the frame, hidden inside to see 100 degrees of movement. If someone approaches from any angle, it will still sense them, and turn back on. These sensors also detect light. Depending on the lighting in the room, the backlighting from the display will change to make the art look as real as possible.

As all of these core insights came into focus, a first-of-its-kind product emerged, and a true market leader and best-in-class product followed:

The largest digital platform of curated art in the world – select from multiple collections and over 1,000 pieces of artwork from leading art museums, like pieces from Van Gogh; and influential photography agencies, like Magnum Photos.

Brilliant color with QLED technology- For the first time ever, QLED technology is featured on The Frame for vibrant color and breathtaking detail.

A personalized gallery display - enabling custom and curated aesthetics for your home

Create your own aesthetic - display art on TV and set the time on how long you want it to be shown on screen.

A new way to display special moments - by uploading your own photography

Dynamic, adaptable, and integrated – by detecting ambient light, the built in brightness sensor balances brightness, color and tone for natural illumination

Custom formats – the ability to change your matte layout, color and display type to suit your own tastes

Smart energy saving - the Motion Sensor detects your presence and turns the TV display into artwork, so you can enjoy your favorite art while you’re there. When you leave, it turns off to save energy.

Simple & intuitive to use - No matter the occasion, style or taste, find artwork that best suits your preferences.

100% color volume - Unique Quantum Dot technology provides 100% color volume, delivering incredible brightness and over a billion shades of color.

Seamless voice commands - you can even talk to The Frame. The Bixby voice assistant can go beyond just controlling The Frame. Natural voice commands allow you full control of the TV.

One remote control & mobile app - easily control all connected devices and content with just One Remote Control or your mobile device with SmartThings app. Adjust the settings or find new artwork to display.



  • International Design Excellence Awards

    • Silver - The Frame, Entertainment, 2018
  • Ambient Smart Home Awards

    • Smart Home Design of the Year, 2018
  • Sydney Design Awards

    • Pop-Ups, Display, Exhibit & Set Design Award, 2018
  • IF Design Award

    • IFA Berlin - Interior Architecture, 2018
  • Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards

    • Honorable Mention - The Frame, Product, 2017
    • Honorable Mention - The Frame, User Experience, 2017
  • News18 Tech and Auto Awards

    • Design of the Year, 2017
  • CES

    • Best of Innovation, 2017
  • Twice

    • VIP Award Winner, 2017


  • Salone del Mobile Milan

    • May 2017
  • IFA 2017 in Berlin

    • The Frame Gallery - Samsung exhibition booth

related projects

related posts