Silent-Iconic, form and function come together


Silent-Iconic, the new panel for 4-way cassettes produced by Hitachi Cooling & Heating, designed to integrate technological performance with meticulous design. Available in white and an exclusive black version, it responds to various applications, from commercial to residential air conditioning. We talked about it with Tomohiko Sato, Senior Designer Product Design Department at Hitachi Cooling & Heating.

Introduce yourselves: who are you and how long have architecture and design been a part of your life?

I graduated in the United Kingdom. Soon after, joined a London based design studio working across a wide range of industries, including furniture, interior and public realm. Currently, as a Senior Designer at Hitachi Product Design Department in Tokyo. It's been about 20 years since I became a product designer.

What ideas inspire your design and architecture style?

Simple yet iconic, that’s what I’m always seeking for.

Does the concept of harmony play a particular role in your work?

When designing for home appliances and commercial equipment, I design not only product details but also surroundings. It is very essential to think about “Harmony”

Is there a right compromise between aesthetics and comfort when designing a space?

For instance, what is the ideal air conditioner? Comfortable space means you don’t feel even cooling and heating. The ideal air conditioner should provide just comfortable air. So when designing a space, a right compromise between aesthetics and comfort means there is no presence of noisy feelings in the space.

How does the Silent-Iconic combine functionality and design?

Silent-Iconic is 4-way Cassette design panel. Its key function is to offer a nicely-conditioned air simply, but with more delicate control of air flow. To do so, how the louvers function matters the most. In the conventional 4-way cassette panel, the louvers are more exposed and visible, and, the surrounding edge of the panel is curby and roundish, to control the air in the most ideal way. On the other hand, Silent-Iconic, in order to be visually silent as much as possible, makes louver more hidden than the conventional, and, also makes the surronding edge more frat and linear straight. Because, louver & curby roundish panel is the visual disorder on the ceiling. But, of course, we should maintain the air control function too. So, we made many calculations and reached to the best position and the shape of louver, and, the edge of panel.

Tomohiko Sato, Senior Designer del Product Design Department di Hitachi.

The technological component is central to Hitachi. How did the company's Japanese know-how make this product possible?

Silent-Iconic changed the shape of its shape as 4-way cassette, a lot. It’s huge design change, from previous 4-way Cassette Design Panel. It took more than 1year for us to organize the simulations and reach to the best design. We made the prototype many times. We made the most of our team capability, especially, Research and Development & Engineering. They exploited their technology of simulation and testing a lot, which we are proud of, and, we are confident with. Thanks to the know-how based on the long history, since 1983, when we designed the world-1st 4-way Cassette, we made it happen.

Speaking of technology: a great deal of attention has been paid to the issue of filters, in order to achieve simplified maintenance. Can you tell us how important this aspect is?

Yes, definitely. We believe, Silent-Iconic, 4-way cassette, will be used in the commercial space, like hotel or restaurant. In such place, maintenance like filter cleaning is important, especially in this era. But in most cases, to have a higher atmosphere feeling, 4-way cassette is likely to be suspended at the higher point, closer to the ceiling, which makes the filter cleaning tougher. Our 4-way cassette with Silent-Iconic, help it too. We can offer the Silent-Iconic with an Elevation Grille, with lifting distance up to 4.0m. So, even if it is installed in the higher ceiling, filter cleaning is not the trouble.


Silent-Iconic was conceived for commercial use, but it can also be used for residential applications. How innovative is this system?

Yes, it can be used for residential applications. At least, this design is universal, which is in harmony with the space can be good enough in not only the commercial space as commercial air conditioner, but also in the residential space too.

Tag: Interviste Hitachi Cooling & Heating

© — All rights reserved. — Published on 30 August 2021

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