Looking like something out of Teenage Engineering’s mad-scientist-laboratory, the Customizable Bluetooth Speaker is a visual concept by artist and designer Max Quest. The design incorporates a LEGO-style brick/grid system that allows you to plug modules together to create the audio hardware you’re looking for. Building on an existing practice known as modular synthesis, Quest’s designs seek to create an ecosystem of modules that are visually identical, making them come together to create a glorious mosaic that’s greater than the sum of its parts.
Designer: Max Quest
The modules in Quest’s ecosystem cover a wide range of requirements, from consumers to professionals. At the very heart of the speaker is the audio driver itself, which can be plugged into a screen (oriented in either landscape or portrait, depending on your needs). The speaker module itself comes with a volume knob, while playback control can be done either on your Bluetooth device or using the added touchscreen interface. However, things don’t just stop there. You can also add extra screens for notifications, turning your Bluetooth speaker into a smart hub, or opt for modules that let you play with your audio signal, like MIDI interfaces, etc. to effectively turn your speaker into a synth or STEM player/mixer.
Some of these modules echo a simplicity that’s reminiscent of MP3 Players from decades ago – rather fitting, considering Apple finally bid adieu to the iPod today.
Quest’s design language remains one of my favorite things about this design. The raw yet vibrant appeal is a brilliant hat tip to Teenage Engineering’s ‘Fun-dustrial’ approach to design. Quest uses vibrant colors, simple shapes, and unusual CMF choices like speckles, marbled plastic, etc. that make the speaker look almost toy-ish, and positively delicious.
Ultimately, the Customizable Bluetooth Speaker’s appeal is absolutely universal. Its colorful design and simplicity are appealing to children as well as adults, and the ability to build a product that uniquely fits your needs makes it perfect for amateurs as well as professionals.
Sadly though, this speaker is just conceptual for now. Created more as a design exercise than as an actual proof of concept, Quest’s concept was made to test his designing and modeling skills. However, it would be fun if he just decided to build a few prototypes out, just for kicks. A collab with Love Hultén, perhaps??