Ovid Loudspeaker

CLIENT:                      Audiosine Ltd, Unitec

PROJECT DATE:       2010

The companion piece of the Ovid Amplifier, this loudspeaker was submitted as my final undergraduate project.

Underlying the loudspeaker was the intention to really examine the loudspeaker in terms of materiality, and the ability to have each and every piece unique, while maintaining production manufacturability.  The result after intensive research was the decision to use slipcast porcelain as the cabinet material.  This required an empirical study on how to create a complex internal structure that broke up sound waves, while keeping the beautiful finish that porcelain is known for.

Making about 50 test pieces lead to using a proprietary paper/clay mix, and using a specific sponge used in yachting furniture within the loudspeaker.  When fired to 1170 degrees, the sponge disappears, leaving an extremely complex solid structure that damps the loudspeaker very well – avoiding the ringing that porcelain is known for.

The Ogura building in Shinjuku, Tokyo inspired the physical form.  The form rises from the floor – hiding the bass driver- much as this building does.  The ribs solve several issues: they visually anchor the form to the floor and allow airflow for the base driver.  Most importantly they support the form as it is fired in the kiln – as porcelain requires a very high firing temperature for the clay to turn vitreous, the very tall piece becomes plastic.  By using the ribs, the structure maintains the desired form throughout the firing sequence.



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