Can A Speaker Fit Home And Lifestyle?
This was the original question People People began to examine in our Lab work; a regular slot in our working schedule that we use to explore problems and innovate solutions.
What began to take shape was Transparent Speaker, a loose evolution of a project one of our designers showed for his degree back in 2007. Stripped of all but the most essential functions, made sustainably and harnessing tech where needed, Transparent Speaker is a distillation of the things we feel make a speaker fit with our lives.
Born On The Internet
On the 11th of November 2011, we posted the Transparent Speaker on our blog; as we do with many Lab concepts. A moderately provocative post highlighting issues of sustainability in product design and the downsides of planned obsolescence (of which there are many).
It got a few comments, as our blog posts often do and then, a week later, without warning, everything went a bit crazy. Comments came in thick and fast, emails started flowing, the hits on the post went through the roof at a rate of tens of thousands… The concept had, it seemed, hit a collective nerve.
Crowdfunded On Kickstarter
The general consensus was that, if we Kickstarted Transparent Speaker, people would support it. We’re people-driven so we did just that in late 2012.
Having that tangible connection with our supporters was, for us as designers, a vital medium and validation of our approach as a studio. Plus it was also a way to interact with, and respond to, a large number of real people across the world, living varied existences, and carrying differing aspirations.
Crowdfunding’s active community also lifted the development of the speaker to a whole new level in terms of research, detail and sustainability.
Towards A New Industrial Revolution
Buying Transparent Speaker is a conscious act of living more sustainably. You’re investing in a future proof product that we’ve specifically designed, from the ground up, to minimise the impact of products on us, our environment and that of those involved in its production.
Virtually every part can be replaced (and we’ve even given you a little tool to help), and the old parts recycled. And we’re engaged in a constant dialogue with our suppliers and manufacturers to help them operate in a more ecological and socially-responsible manner.
Crystal Clear Audio
The idea of having everything transparent is a functional as well as an aesthetic design thought. It’s a way of showing our love for quality materials, manufacturing and technology.
Enlisting the help of audio technicians early on, we’ve aimed for an acoustic state of playback called Transparent Acoustics, where nothing gets in the way of the act of listening. Music as it was intended to be experienced.
We want you to be able to see everything as it works, each pulsation of bass from the woofer, the tinkelings of the drivers, enjoy the satisfaction from the torsion drag on its knobs and that click of the power rocker switch.
People Products Community
For us it’s always been people first. And as our journey from a rendering to physical product shipping to all corners of the globe reaches its natural end, we’re happy that Transparent Speaker is continuing to entrance its owners.
Transparent Speaker has nurtured a community of socially-engaged souls who still reach out to us via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. They’re helping others who may be nervy about using our tool to have a poke about, giving tips on streaming performance, even posting clips of their subwoofers pulsing. We’re also privileged to share in the first songs played when they unbox Transparent Speaker.
You should get one too