This is an English translation of an original article published in Spanish minimalist interior magazine, Interiores Minimalistas, written by Patricia Velasco.
We thank the magazine and author for their kind words, and thoughtful overview of our company and products. It is published here with the kind permission of the magazine.
The original article, written in Spanish and published on 5 July 2021, is available from this link.
SOUND-AESTHETICS, WRAPPING SOUND IN ART
————— July 5, 2021 —————
SOUND-AESTHETICS:Sound-Aesthetics, a Dutch firm founded by designer Albert de Graaf, is the developers of an innovative and minimalist modular system that can be configured as a wireless speaker or as a noise damping system, whilst also offering an artistic side through a series of interchangeable covers with different graphic motifs or minimalist architectural images.
Born in South Africa, Albert de Graaf wanted to design a high-quality audio system that could bring an elegant aesthetic to interior spaces. Conceived firstly as a minimalist sculpture that could be hung on the wall like a framed artwork or simply placed on top of a piece of furniture. At the same time, the team wanted to develop a modular system that would also be able to improve the acoustics of the room by reducing ambient noise levels; and one that gained meaning by incorporating carefully integrated and customizable artwork.
Breaking with convention
Starting with this triple-objective, the firm developed a product very different from the conventional loudspeakers found in today’s audio world. The main concept was to treat these products as functional works of art.
Technically, Sound-Aesthetics’ loudspeakers are compatible with all major streaming services and are operated via smartphone. This makes them easy to use since they can be placed anywhere in the home and allows interior design proposals to determine their location rather than the other way around.
So far, this young firm has obtained a Silver Award at the International Design Awards (IDA 2020). The award was given to Outstanding Product Design in the Media & Home Electronics / TV, Video & Audio Equipment category. [The product was also longlisted in the Dezeen Awards 2020 for Product Design — Transl. Ed.]
S-A VOICE™ “CELEBRATING SOUND”:
S-A VOICE is a premium WiFi speaker that is accompanied by interchangeable pieces of geometric art, carved from solid materials, thus paying a symbolic tribute to music, and natural- and artificial sounds. The firm has designed and registered a modular enclosure in the shape of a cut pyramid, but with thin side edges, designed primarily to give the devices a thin and aesthetically pleasing 'floating' edge.
Individually, SA VOICE offers great sound quality, but can be paired wirelessly to create a stereo system or create a multi-speaker setup for best results. In addition, it is backward-compatible with other audio equipment and designed to be upgraded to ensure a longer service life.
S-A CALM™ “ODE TO SILENCE”:
Even the most exquisite room can suffer from poor acoustics, dramatically reducing the experience of such spaces. S-A CALM ™ is more than just a simple design object, absorbing noise and diffracting sounds to improve ambient indoor acoustics. The system absorbs more than 70% of the noise entering it, dampening both noise and sound reflections. It is well-suited to homes, offices and recording studios.
This acoustic treatment system also features interchangeable artwork. The collection shows all the products with artistic themes thought of as an "Ode to Silence", in this way, the artwork pays homage, symbolically, to that underrated quality that is silence.
The latest addition to the collection contains images inspired by architecture and a beautiful saying by Goethe: “music is liquid architecture. Architecture is frozen music. "
4 × 4:
This collection offers the possibility of making a bigger impression, both visually and acoustically. It is a collection of four units grouped in a single 1.2 m-high piece.
Sound-Aesthetics designs, manufactures and sells a new type of audio product where technology and art come together. The firm, which is based in The Hague (Netherlands), was established in 2016 by the South African industrial designer, photographer and academic, Albert de Graaf. Its main S-A VOICE™, S-A CALM™ and 4 × 4 products are the result of many years of study, prototyping, testing and refinement.
All products are designed in the Netherlands, where the studio also creates all artwork using different techniques, including photography. In this way, sustainability and exclusivity are supported. All artwork-panels are made to order also in the Netherlands, where all products are hand-assembled and quality checked.
The enclosures are made [in Europe — Transl. Ed.] by a manufacturer specialized in high-end loudspeakers, using only the highest quality materials. This award-winning producer employs the latest specialized manufacturing tools, a luxury paint shop, and hand finishes all products to the highest standards.
Information source: Albert de Graaf
Albert de Graaf
Original article by Patricia Velasco