Tipping the balance
We spoke with designer Michael Anastassiades about his first Bang & Olufsen design, the mesmerising Beosound Edge.
The shape of sound
The Beosound Edge speaker is standing on the floor of his design studio, like a perfectly rolled sheet of metal. The designer tells us how the black fabric surface almost draws you in. The illusion is created by minimising the space between the two surfaces and using a matte fabric to contrast the reflective shine of the aluminium ring.
“It looks quite surreal because of the sudden depth change,” says Anastassiades while inspecting his work. “A gap between the two materials would have allowed a tolerance to exist. But here, there is no tolerance, no in-between space, which is amazing.”
Ah, Paris. Unmistakeable, beautiful Paris. Paris: a place so unique – so authentic, so essentially itself – that it is truly irreplaceable. The eighth and final instalment in our Sound of the Cities mini-series – a sonic exploration of our urban environments and their cultural soundscapes – visits the French capital. There we meet two composers, Yann Coppier and François Bonnet, who both spend a lot of time thinking about sound and how it informs the nearly ungraspable sensations and feelings – the je ne sais quoi if you will – which makes a place seem real or not. But just how Parisian are the sounds of Paris, exactly?
“The touch sensitive aluminium interface comes to life with proximity sensors”.
Move and be moved
Adjusting the volume is as magical as the listening experience itself. Simply roll the speaker forwards or backwards to turn the music up or down. Once you let go, it automatically rolls back to its starting position.
It feels your presence
“Beosound Edge is a monolithic object without any controls or visual disturbance. The controls light up when you use them – when you don't, there's really nothing to see. And to me that's magic,” says Anastassiades.
The minimalist's design process
According to the designer, the action of constantly removing details is far more daring than adding them. Seeing a product with lots of bells and whistles creates a powerful initial impact. But once that novelty wears off, there's nothing left. Instead, his intention with the Beosound Edge was to create a timeless object that continues to spark your imagination.
“What you do, is that you constantly distil the idea. You remove layers upon layers, and what you manage to retain, is pure. It's about mastering something to a level, where you say: This is it! – And then having the confidence to carry it out.”
“I try to design objects that remain unnoticed at a first glance,” the designer explains. "But when you see them the second time around, you start paying more attention. By the third encounter, you should become even more intrigued."
“You have to respect its calmness and balance. It's perfectly balanced on its edge”.
Balancing the mind
“I can stare at this for hours. I could never do that with a highly complex object,” he says. “It's all about creating objects that are meditative. Objects that become transparent and that you can actually live with.”
“You have to respect its calmness and balance. It's perfectly balanced on its edge. That, for me, is magic. That is something that is irreplaceable.”