Design company Nendo has joined forces with Masagasu Mitsuke to create a super thin ceramic speaker set for a project aimed at injecting some new life into traditional Japanese crafts. Normally hidden away in such things as LED lighting, the ceramic substrate used for the creation is boldly brought out into the open for a striking piece of functional art.
The ceramic speakers are the company's contribution to a project started by former Japanese footballer Hidetoshi Nakata to put some life back into traditional crafts in Japan. Nendo was invited by Yuji Akimoto – one of the five project curators and director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan – to work with Mitsuke, a Kanazawa-based potter who is influenced by the traditions of local Kutani ware.
The result is a set of high-end audio speakers boasting bold red arty designs merged with circuit-board lines on a ceramic substrate only 1mm thick. The ceramic substrate is manufactured by slicing thin slabs from thicker blocks, fixing them with mercury vapor and then mounting any components using a robotic arm.
Nendo wanted to use a product that is not usually seen by the human eye and make a decorative, functional product. The perfect solution was found on ceramic substrate, which has a high heat resistance and is normally found in LED lighting and other heat-emitting internal components.