These wireless speakers are made from clay, wood and wool

Design studio Documentary Design developed Mapuguaquén, handmade speakers made from organic materials like clay, wood and wool that combine pottery tradition with wireless audio technology.

The name Mapuguaquén means ‘the sound of the earth’ in the language of the South American Mapuche people. The speakers are said to be the world’s first active sound system made of clay.

The speakers “fuse the state-of-the-art in electronics and amplification with a ancestral craft techniques,” the designers say. They are inspired by tradition aesthetics and handmade from organic material by master craftsmen from Nacimiento, Chile.

“We dream of a Crafts Re-evolution to give back protagonism to traditional hand-crafts in our industrialised world,” the designers say. “We want to create unique, innovative products that are deeply related to the particular materials and visual cultures of the places they come from, standing for identity and history.”

The vessel is handmade on a pottery wheel. The spherical shape of the body avoids sharp resonances inside the vessel and smoothes out the focusing effect of the housing. After the firing process of over 1000 degrees Celsius, the clay becomes very sturdy, with high density and little natural oscillation.

Concave wood cones in the centre of the drive optimises the off-axis-response of high frequencies through refection, creating a vivid sound. The cones and caps are individually handcrafted of local raulí and avellano wood.

For the internal acoustic insulation of the speakers, the designers used natural felted wool. Wool does not store static electricity and is non-flammable, thus protecting the speakers inner components. Another insulation material used is leather, which has high tensile strength and is inherently resisting to heat.

The internal electronics are all state-of-the-art with amplifiers and Bluetooth, amongst other things, and can be operated wirelessly.

Each speaker is unique and numbered. They are available in mono, speaker system ad stereo speaker. For each sold speaker, the designers plant one native tree, such as pine or eucalyptus.

You can currently support the project on Kickstarter.

Photos: Documentary Design