Innovation in the Modern Age’, will highlight significant moments in the history of British Design. Included in this prestigious event is the Lecson Audio system created by the co-founders of Meridian Audio.
The Lecson Audio system was created in 1974, three years before Allen Boothroyd and Bob Stuart founded Meridian Audio.
One of the most innovative products of the 1970s in any field, the Lecson reinvented the
relationship between design and function. Before its release, hi-fi equipment was housed functionally. Regular grey boxes with knobs represented the height of artistic endeavour
and the aesthetic of hi-fi products remained unchanged for many years, that is, until the
Lecson. The Lecson did away with the monochrome, boxes and knobs. The power amp
was housed not in a dull cube of metal, but in a ribbed cylinder which was not only striking
to look at but designed to dissipate the necessary heat. The control unit was not simply a
block of buttons but used a spectrum of coloured keyboard-like sliders making it both
fantastically bold and incredibly intuitive. The Lecson had made the leap from something
that was not merely acceptable as a piece of equipment, but also desirable as an objet d’art.
Selected in 1976 for the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) permanent collection, it
is this iconic piece for which Bob Stuart and Allen Boothroyd won the first of three British
Design Council Awards in 1974, 1982 and 1988. Now sought after by collectors, it is
thought that approximately 50 Lecson systems are still in existence and at auction they
fetch over £1,000.00