An article from Dezeen caught my attention on twitter, when I saw a clean and beautiful product - a see through speaker designed by People People. Aesthetically, it reminded me of something created by Dieter Rams: ordered, honest and maticulously utilitarian. It’s understated and elegant enough to fit into any environment, something which isn’t common for this kind of status product.

The headline is sustainability and this design ticks all the boxes. Their openness around product failure, by including sensors that detect when parts are due to fail and making the design fully disassemblable, really empowers the owner to diagnose and repair their own product, which is key to longevity and keeping consumer electronics out of landfill sites. Then, if the damage is too great, they provide a recycling service, free of charge as I understand, which is so important when it comes to circular economy. Product Service System design, similar to this, is really hot in sustainable design discourse and I’d like to see more of it. Another important aspect is the glass body, which breaks the barrier between functional parts and the user. It’s important to see the internals of this kind of product, because it means we can have a deeper material relationship with the product and would therefore be motivated to fix it and to understand its function so that we’re able to fix it. Their overall philosophy seems to be really encouraging on this front.

The product itself is simple aesthetically and by all accounts uses high grade components. I do not have one of these speakers, so I cannot review it for myself, but it seems future proof, practical and high quality. It seems to connect to every device and app known to man and there’s still an audio jack on the front. According to their Kickstarter the retail price would be $310, but if you pledge $210 you can get a small transparent speaker shipped to you by June 2017. I understand there would be a high material cost associated with aluminium and hardened glass, but I don’t think this is a very democratic price. Despite the cost I think this would be worth backing (I can’t afford $210 at this moment in time, which is why I have a grudge about the price) in principle and for a great product.

4 / 5

Image From Kickstarter