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Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Designer Interview with Marcell Faller of sonoro audio


Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali
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I have a transistor radio in my apartment. Yes, an AM only transistor radio. Beyond my computer speakers and my coveted transistor radio, I don’t have any quality sound device to play my my favorite tunes which more often than not tend to be of the German “oompah” sort (no joke). Coincidentally enough, the following interview is with Marcell Faller of sonoro audio, a German based audio designer who creates amazing sound systems out of wood casings the size of a toaster. I think I am convinced it is time to upgrade… Enjoy the Q&A!

First comes first, we want to know about your background! Where are from? What sort of passions did you have prior to starting sonoro audio?

I’m was born and raised in Neuss, Germany. sonoro audio was first started in my hometown but shortly after the introduction of cubo, our first product, we moved the company to the near-by vibrant city of Cologne. I’m a gadget guy and products with flare have always caught my eye and my wallet. I have an interest in all things global. I have traveled around the world for adventure, education and work. I especially love the USA and lived there off and on for over 10 years.

How did you get into the electronic/audio/design world? What sparked the need to begin sonoro and create such quality audio pieces that also have such a refined and thoughtful design element?

Prior to starting sonoro audio, I was the international product and purchasing manager for Medion, Germany. The company has been very successful at developing consumer electronic products under their own brand and distributing them through a number of middle to low-cost distribution chains such as grocery stores. Medion is a well-established player in this market area, yet there is a lot of competition as well.

While working with manufactures in China, I saw a niche that was going unmet. There are plenty of low cost products in the market on one end of the spectrum and a number of well known, high-end manufacturers of top quality stereo systems and components on the other end. Yet that middle market – high quality compact audio solutions, while being addressed by some key players, still had a lot of room for growth. I saw a chance to develop a line of tabletop audio products that are of exceptional quality, and equally important, unique design.

How has the German market impacted your designs? Additionally, how has opening the line up to the rest of Europe, the US and the world impacted your designs?

I’d like to think our designs are universal. They’re modern and streamline. Our cubo line is colorful and fun, while our elements family is high tech and sleek. The beauty of all our products is that they look great in any interior: from a classic setting to a minimalist environment. The German aspect of sonoro products comes through in Read the rest of this entry »


Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

Apps: Got (I.D.) Wood?


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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I was just informed about yet another design-related iPhone app (I am really behind on the app bandwagon – my friends are always bonking their iPhones together and figuring out our social schedules with Urban Spoon, and I can barely sync my phone). This one is called I.D. Wood. In a nutshell:

I.D. Wood allows a user to quickly browse by Wood Samples, Species Names or Other Names to aide in quick identification. Categories allow for quickly finding woods of a particular use, durability or sustainable status.

I have this image of this app saving Jeff Lewis from bringing a million stain samples to that celebrity hairdresser client of his on Flipping Out.

To learn more, click here.


Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

WIRED NextFest – Chicago


Posted by Ali | View all posts by Ali
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If you are in the Chicago area and/or are a design/innovation/tech junkie, the WIRED NextFest event in Chicago’s Millennium Park may be right up your alley. From what I have seen the event has a lot of groundbreaking design work that could potentially foreshadow what we’ll be seeing and using in the not so distant future. Some of the highlights include “advances in sustainable design, next generation healthcare, interactive art and games, and humanoid robotics.”

A few pieces to wet your whistle:

“Don’t just sit – Hoverit”…

hoverit lounger

“Don’t just sit – Hoverit” is the slogan of a two-person British design team who proclaim this chair to be “the first in a series of magnetic hover furniture.” The design visually reminds me of a mix between the hover board scene from Back to the Future and a dental chair, but Read the rest of this entry »


Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Shame on AT&T


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

zack.jpgSo yesterday I went and invested in an iPhone. I hope I can keep it dry, because it’s the coolest thing ever, and I’m not even much of a gadget girl and I’m really really not much of a cellphone person.  There is literally no instruction manual reading required – man I love Apple.   Why do people EVER buy anything else?  Anyway, I should probably stop throwing water bottles into my purse.

So at the AT&T store, I had my old phone there, naively hoping that someone could take out the old SIM card and save me from having to track down all of my friends’ numbers, but that was just plain silly – of course they were not going to offer any additional aid besides taking my money.

I asked if they could recycle my old drowned phone, and they said no but then yes, they had a program that donates them to soldiers. I said that’s great, but I don’t think a soldier is going to want an old drowned phone that doesn’t work, what I meant was do they recycle cellphones for the environment, and they manager said with authority and a tone that implied “what a silly crunchy hippie cracker-ass-cracker you are,” “No, we do not recycle for the environment.” For shame.  Random places all over the place like the spa where I get massages has a cell phone recycle box, I mean, how hard can it be for a cell phone store to provide that for people. Shame AT&T, shame!

Photo is from a website that is actually called  These crazy kids today!


Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Modern Gadgets – Music Power Encore


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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Those who know me know that I am not much of a techie, but sometimes a little gadget comes along and rocks my world, and I wanted to share it with you.  I don’t usually stray away from Apple products. but I recently picked up this little Encore MP3 charger from Music Power.  It has two USB ports, so you can use it to charge your iPod and your iPhone at the same time (or your Zune and your Blackberry, if that’s your bag), and it’s smaller than the charger that came with my iPod.  The plug folds up into the device, and the very best part about it is that it has a built-in rechargeable battery.  When your MP3 player runs out, this has the power to keep you going for double the time without a plug.  No more searching for random outlets in the airport – you can fit this baby right in your pocket and charge away.


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