This month, we’re breaking with tradition by showcasing a talent that’s actually a concept. Designed by Max Gunawan, Teno offers a poetic take on technology.
Teno is an extraterrestrial. At first glance, it resembles a closed bowl, flaunting sleek lines and a rough finish, coated in black sand. Or perhaps it’s white. Who knows? Nestling in the palm of the hand, the object cracks open under the gentlest brush of the fingers, unveiling its radiant interior. And not only that, it vibrates! A chink of light flows out from its fissured surface. A quiver of music floats into the air as though bubbling up from the depths of a volcano. It’s surprising, breathtaking and poetic. Almost magical. A lamp to listen to, or a luminous speaker. Teno is both one and the other. The two rolled into one. Its soft light would probably pair well with a soothing playlist that’s easy on the ear. Teno’s bowl-like shape is inspired by “sound bowls”, the tiny gongs whose calming vibrations ring out to mark the start of a yoga or meditation session. A low-tech artisan object that’s teeming with high-tech components, this creation is akin to a UFO cleverly straddling both future and past.
According to Max Gunawan, there’s nothing more magical than a sound emanating from out of sight: the sound of birdsong ringing through the forest, the babbling of a faraway stream. When the bowl cracks open, music escapes from an imperceptible source. The fissure, bordered with a golden ribbon of light, alludes to the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which involves piecing together broken shards of porcelain with gold dust-sprinkled lacquer. An outstanding example of resilience that laughs in the face of planned obsolescence. Max Gunawan flies the flag for a sustainable world, and his inspiration is firmly rooted in beauty and emotion.
Could Teno be headed for global success? The question is certainly one worth asking, as the speaker is Gunawan’s second creation, the Lito lamp being his first. The portable lamp, which opens and shuts like a book, has so far amassed global sales of... 800,000 units.
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