*HERO Design Lab in design , 00:13

Outdoor Speakers (part 1) - NOTConcept 002- 03.26.08

gnome-sketches.jpgNOTConcept 002: Outdoor Sound System - [1: Idea Sketching] [2: Concept Dev] [3: 3D Renders]

NOTCOT Note: This week has been a bit off… i’m still trying to catch up, but freshly in my inbox are the first rough sketches of NOTConcept 002! Jenny and Leo (of HERO Design Lab and i have been playing with ideas on what can be done to create more ambiance in our outdoor spaces. We played with discussions of solar power, lighting, music, projections, and just subtle objects that add character to our spaces. Ultimately we decided to head in the direction of outdoor speakers you least expect… creating a whole new way to achieve surround sound outdoors without needing to completely “hide” your speakers. As with NOTConcept 001 feel free to comment and brainstorm with us as we stretch our minds and play with new ideas.

First sketch above is the Gnome idea… Tapping into the kitchy world of garden ornaments - this media pod channels the essence of garden gnomes. You could have a clan of ‘gnomes’ that would generate your surround sound/light/projection/media experience.

See the sketches of the other 5 ideas after the jump!

You can stick these in the ground or on a base to create your own spatial installation. With this modular system you can customize your environment. Like the gnomes, these would come as a series where the various Tiki’s would provide a surround sound/light/projection/media experience.

This is Tiki V2, with styling like trumpet flowers, which would tie nicely into a garden environment. Pretty and very Alice in Wonderland.

Photovoltaic cells are woven into a fabric which connects to the speaker of the media pod. The textile can be folded up and stored inside the speaker case when not in use. Or! The speakers could also be woven into a textile. Maybe you can picnic or sunbathe on it :)

Bucky Balls:
Each ball is composed of an array of speakers and photovoltaic cells, but wrapped into a really unified design. These could be like rocks in your garden, or hung - big and sculptural.

Wicker Pods:
Mixing rattan, fiber optics, and flexible photovoltaic cells. Can have colors and patterns, with speakers woven inside. Very unique decor for your garden :)

NOTConcept 002: Outdoor Sound System - [1: Idea Sketching] [2: Concept Dev] [3: 3D Renders]

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5 Notes

The ideas are interesting, but if you want to create outdoor speakers you should also take into account the acoustics of the object holding or projecting the sound. The images showing “horn” shapes on the front will be very difficult to work with, reduce dispersion (the ability to cover large areas) and if not properly designed cause the music to sound as if it is coming from a can. Hero’s columns that can be stuck in the ground offer the best acoustic possibilities, especially if you smooth off some of the corners and add a rounded shape to the back. Most other designs I have seen here would have to trade significant sound quality for design; in other words the engineer would have to say, “we are marketing the look so it is okay if the sound is somewhat compromised”. This last is not unusual, and every speaker in the market place I am aware of makes this compromise somewhere in the design. Check out the BMW Nautilus for the speaker that makes the fewest (again that I know of) compromises and still achieves a unique and interesting shape. I am sure however that you were searching for designs that anyone could afford.
One last thought: As to the use of photovoltaic cells, you will have to allow for significant area (maybe 4ft. x 4ft.) to achieve enough electricity to power the speakers which will also need to contain an onboard amplifier. Alternatively you could use a smaller cell and large battery but expect it to take many hours to charge. Of course a battery would be necessary in any case if you intended to use it at night. Take into account these criteria and I would be very interested in seeing your designs.

----- Edward 02.11.08 06:03

i love the tiki’s.

----- PsyGuy 28.03.08 18:10

I’m really feeling the tiki, that looks like it could be a lot of fun. Its great that its modular too so you could go from stereo to full on surround.

----- Jackson 28.03.08 17:37

Ok ok, you inspired me quite a lot. I like Tiky and Wicker Pods, I think it could be really nice made of rattan.


Well I had this shaped digi-flower for some time in my head. I was thinking about making some kind of new digi-flora that could adapt on normal nature.
I was also thinkig that maybe such kind of formable stem could be used for Tiki 2…

----- M72 27.03.08 15:25

I love the Tiki V2 trumpets, they remind me of the hoots from the Clangers.

----- J. Spaceman 26.03.08 06:13

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