Ceramic Speaker by Nendo


Ceramic Speaker by Nendo

Tokyo studio Nendo have collaborated with a traditional Japanese potter to create a flat, square loudspeaker made of 1mm thick ceramic decorated with intricate patterns.

Ceramic Speaker by Nendo

The speaker combines high-tech industrial ceramics and traditional craftsmanship.

Ceramic Speaker by Nendo

The product was designed in collaboration with Kanazawa based potter Mitsuke Masagasu, for the Take Action Foundation, which seeks to rejuvenate traditional Japanese crafts.

Ceramic Speaker by Nendo

Photographs are by Masayuki Hayashi.

Ceramic Speaker by Nendo

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The following information is from the designers:

“ceramic-speaker” designed by nendo / Design concept

A contribution to the Revalue Nippon Project launched by former Japan footballer Nakata Hidetoshi to revitalize the traditional crafts in Japan. Nakata named five curators, each of whom selected one ceramicist and one designer (or contemporary artist) to collaborate on one piece. Curator Akimoto Yuji, director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, invited nendo to collaborate with Mitsuke Masagasu, a Kanazawa-based potter whose work springs from the traditions of the local Kutani ware.

We decided to complement the infinitely sophisticated, elaborate lines of Mitsuke's red-glaze designs by fusing them with the infinite sophistication of digital manufacturing techniques to create a set of high-end audio speakers in 1mm thick ceramic substrate.

Ceramic substrate has a high heat resistance, so is often used for LED bulbs and other heat-emitting internal components and rarely exposed to human eyes. Its computer-controlled manufacture involves shaving thin slices from thicker ceramic slabs, fixing them with mercury vapour and mounting all components with a robot arm; human hands touch no part of the process. We hoped that adding Mitsuke's red patterns to the process would disrupt it entirely, allowing a new form of expression to emerge.

As the substrate is exposed to sight, its function-optimized surface takes on a new decorative role. This reminds us both of the limits of the human hand, and of its infinite, unshakeable attraction, providing a glimpse into the future of craft.

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Posted on Tuesday November 23rd 2010 at 8:56 pm by Catherine Warmann. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • D_P

    really beautiful object and concept, love the integration/collision of high tech and high craft, but how does it actually function as a speaker? does the sound resonate from cones out of the bottom? does the entire substrate vibrate? eh?eh?

    • Charles

      Just once I would like Nendo to do something that I hate. Unlikely.

    • guy

      I guess its meant to a peizo-electric so some such non-cone technology… but just because they say its "high-end" doesn't mean it is. What's the frequency response?Its very beautiful, but a shame if it doesn't sound good or or at least good enough for its intended application,

  • Doug C.

    I'd like to hear it. Otherwise it's just a very pretty picture. You tube?

  • Paul Dale

    These are gorgeous!! I agree, we need a demonstration of their effectiveness- and where we can buy them!

  • s2gz

    MmmmMmmm, love me some mercury vapour.

  • Amazing. A work of art… and technology.

  • Insane. Love it!