At Stockholm furniture fair, earlier in the year, I spotted a very unusual speaker. It was on the String stand, which was styled by Lotta Agaton Interiors. Then I saw it again when I visited beautiful Dry Studios. I decided to find out about more about it and did some research.
The Transparent Speaker was created by Stockholm based Transparent Sound. Set up by Per Brickstad and Martin Willers, the duo had a successfully launch through crowdfunding on Kickstarter. I’ve got an exclusive interview with one of the founders, that I can’t wait to share with you. Per tells us all about how the journey started and gives us a more in dept knowledge of how they work.
I’ve styled the Small Transparent Speaker in my home and I would highly recommend it. The stunning minimal design speaks for itself, it’s a definite show stopper. The packaging is perfect and the speakers even come with white gloves. They’ve thought of everything. The speaker sound is soft, very clear and there’s a nice deep base too. We don’t have a TV in our living room, so the speaker is now our entertainment. Just how relaxing is a bit of jazz and a lit scented candle after a long day in front of the laptop or behind the camera. The ambience in the room has changed so much after testing these speakers. I feel like I’m in a nice coffee shop or a restaurant even, it’s so enjoyable and it feels very peaceful.
How did you meet?
Almost 20 years ago in university, Martin lived in a cottage in the forest for some reason and always ended up sleeping on my sofa eating all my cookies. This Cookie Monster turned out to be the most entrepreneurial spirit.. the best combo one could ever wish for to my restless designer brain.
How did you come up with the name Transparent Sound?
It came as a natural result of our first product the Transparent Speaker. Also it refers to a term in acoustics where being “transparent” means staying true to a recording, a kind of accurate reproduction of the sound. For me it means letting people become closer to what really matters to them… the artist and the music. Last but not least the name Transparent represent our ambition to run an honest business and make products that are good all the way through.
What values are important to you?
Realness, friendliness and curiosity. Courage. Sensibility. All that good stuff!
How did you come up with the Transparent Speaker?
It started out as an exploration of how to make an electronic product blend nicely into any environment. Then it evolved into questioning a whole industry. Why wouldn’t we be able to appreciate a tech object in the same way we appreciate a designer chair or a craft object? How can we make a truly timeless tech object, that doesn’t turn into waste after only a few years? These are the kind of topics we explore in our work.
How does the Transparent Speaker work?
It is trying to offer beautiful sounding music in the most simple way possible. Simply push a button and start playing music from your phone. It is built of only the essential parts in order to make this happen: the speaker cones, the air in the cabinet, the digital amplifier and a frame to hold it all together. All crafted in great materials. The construction is completely modular, which means it is designed for disassembly. The idea is for the product to become better with time, and become reborn as an ever better version of itself, rather than turned into waste. We are working on a kind of closed loop system.
What would be your dream project?
Doing exactly what we do now but somehow having our families with us in the studio all day as well.
What does a normal work day look like?
I tend to start many many things, so it is all about managing all these processes, whether it takes place in a computer, in a meeting, in a factory or in a sculpture.
Who are your biggest influences?
My design philosophy started with Swedish functionalism and Naoto Fukasawa but right now it’s more Norm Architects and Faye Toogood.
Where can we buy your work?
At transparentspeaker.com or at selected retailers listed on the site.
Thank you so much, Per for sharing with us!
This post was written in collaboration with Transparent Sound, all views are my own. The speaker in the photos is gifted.