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!
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 »
I never thought I would say this, but thanks to designers like Susie Mendive of SUM I am actually ecstatic wallpaper has made such a solid comeback. This is gen-u-ine excitement. My parents coated our home with wallpaper in the early 80’s, and it wasn’t pretty. It was so bad I remember as a little girl trying to peel it off to hint to my parents that they needed to do something with the walls. Now, times are different and I want to paper my walls myself!
Wallpaper actually gets me all riled up so I apologize in advice for my lengthy list of questions with Susie Mendive. Enjoy!
I know a bit about your background…a graphic designer with a graduate degree from North Carolina then to LA then to NY as art director with stila cosmetics…but I think there are some holes, especially in how you transitioned from branding cosmetics to designing modern wallpaper. Tell us more! How did SUM come together?
It happened very organically. I very much wanted to design and produce my own product and call all the shots. It just made sense at that point in my career. There is a lot of hard work involved and it can be consuming but I like taking it one step at the time.
Tell us about the name, SUM. How did you come up with this?
My husband and I were in Tokyo and it just hit me, Su is from Susie and M from Mendive but more than that it was the idea of a total home concept…SUM of all parts. A total approach to design and living.
Where do you live now? Last year I moved from a fabulous sprawling penthouse in Oakland to an equally lovely shoebox in SF. It’s all about location, baby!
How did you get interested in design? I worked at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art for years and found myself attending as many architecture and design lectures I could get into. It is fascinating for me to learn about the process a designer goes through in order to realize their ideas. It is also interesting for me to see how people can interpret the same object in so many different ways. I think that’s where the line often blurs between art and function.
What’s your favorite DP product and why? Love my Area Jewel duvet and Area Theo coverlet. I always tell people its my ‘fancy’ bedding.
What do you like most about our company? I mostly work here for the free food. People say we have a Read the rest of this entry »
To piggyback off of Melissa’s staff profile, let me now introduce another one of our Three’s Company (aka Customer Service Team) characters: Kerstin!
Where are you from? Clearwater, FL
Where do you live now? San Francisco, CA
How did you get interested in design? I started cutting up clothes and sewing them, painting, doing ceramics, changing the way I “decorated” my rooms and other creative shenanigans when I was younger and throughout growing up. As I got older, I discovered new arenas of more sophisticated design regarding furniture and sustainable art, how loose the term “design” is, and how the kiddie painting and grown-up furniture design can work together… Did that make sense?
What’s your favorite DP product and why? umm… I don’t have a favorite, but I really love jefdesigns pieces, and I really need the Area Bruno Bed and some Graham & Brown Mode Enchant Wallpaper, please.
If you weren’t doing this what would you do? Probably be miserable while Read the rest of this entry »