We've got a sneak peek here of Ghostly International's Brian Fichtner interviewing John Sundermeyer, the industrial designer, Coroflotter, co-founder of the Pull Experience creative agency and ex-RKS designer behind the KOR One water bottle. Fichtner asks Sundermeyer about the design process behind Audyssey's Audio Dock Air, the diminutive, desktop wireless-streaming speaker with the monolithic design.
GI: What was your starting point and how did the form factor emerge?
JS: There are two main components here:
1. The Configuration
Audyssey already had a very unique form factor with their original wireless Audio Dock, which is narrow and deep, unlike the majority of docks on the market that generally have a very traditional "landscape" aspect ratio. We had a lot of positive feedback from end-users about this form-factor because its footprint is very efficient, especially in a space sensitive environments like a desktop or nightstand. This form factor also has some performance advantages, most notably the side-firing drivers which provide better stereo separation than traditional dock configurations.
2. The Form
I had the general idea for this design before creating any sketches. It was originally based on two pure intersecting forms, an elevated cloth cube and a frame. One of the thoughts was to keep these elements and different materials separate, to have a very strong break between the form and the materials, as opposed to a singular form with incidental material breaks.
How many iterations did the design go through en route to the final production version?
There were really only two main iterations, the first being the original concept sketch direction, the second being its refinement and subsequent 3D development. I consider everything else to be refinement/implementation. As with any product, details had to be honed and finessed as the design was being implemented by the engineering team and manufacturer, however, these iterations were very small and did not impact the essence of the device.
Are there any aspects to the design that you're particularly proud of?
The final design is true to its intent. Actualizing a minimal design like the Audio Dock Air's requires a lot of attention to detail and shared vision by the entire team. Audyssey understood this innately and having everyone aligned on this vision was crucial to ensuring that superfluous details didn't creep in along the way.
The full interview will be up on Ghostly's blog next week, so be sure to check it out. Our thanks to Fichtner and co. for letting us get the drop.
(For those of you unawares, cultural curator Ghostly International is a design house, technology innovator, record label and online store all rolled into one.)