Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010 - Cool wood radio

I wandered into one of my favorite stores in Madison, Century House—one that has actually displayed my lamps from time to time—and saw this amazing little radio made of wood. When do you see that? At first I thought it was some kind of cool toy, the details were so simple, the wood so smooth and rounded. But it's an actual radio with the most current mp3 playing compatible electronics. The design is very simple but every detail is a treat to the eyes and you can't help but want to touch and feel the smooth beautiful wood. A smooth rounded wood peg through a metal loop holds the back panel on. I don't know why but this may be one of my favorite details. It's obviously manufactured but at the same time hand made. There are even small wooden ends on the connector cables. As a designer and fan of industrial design I was smitten. Of course having no money in this lovely era of frugality means smitten is what I will remain.

So I did some searching on the net and was surprised to see that it's all over the place including stores like Anthropologie. Here's the scoop; there are 3 radios in the product line; small, medium and large. They range in price from $200-$300. Designed by Singgih Kartono for Magno. Each tree used to create these radios had one replanted in its place, as Antropologie touts "making each song played sound just a bit sweeter." Don't you love marketing? The wood is not coated with anything but oil and needs maintaining. Yes, a product you actually have to care for. Not an easy proposition for most of us.

The product was also made as an attempt to improve the Indonesian economy, creating jobs for local woodworkers making wooden commodities needing relatively low skills. This falls into a new category called "New Craft." New Craft attempts to utilize existing systems and technology with the most important factor being to use well managed human resources. To learn more about the designers vision for producing this sustainable product check the Magno Website.

I also want to send out a big Happy Birthday to my mom and my good friend JoAnn who had a great art opening last night at the Commonweath gallery space as well as a fab party afterwards. Loved it. Have a good week. m

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