Endless iterations of the audio speaker fill the Design Milk archives, but arguably none so simple and subtly elegiac than the Bunaco speaker by Nendo, an omnidirectional expression of Japanese minimalism and craftsmanship.
Using beech wood from trees grown in the Japanese prefecture of Aomori, the artisan company Bunaco specializes in hand coiling 1mm thin and 1cm-wide ribbon strips of wood into subtle forms so tight the resulting forms are capable of holding water without leaking (note: the technique is old, but not ancient, originally developed in 1956).
Bunaco primarily uses the technique to make bowls, lampshades, and other wood housewares. In this unique instance they’ve collaborated with Oki Sato and his Japanese studio Nendo to take advantage of the acoustic properties of beech wood to “warm” up both audio performance and the aesthetic presence of a Bluetooth equipped wireless omnidirectional speaker.
Paired with a clear acrylic cylinder base, a single paper cone driver is positioned in the center and points upwards, with the visible cyclonic mass of layered coiled wood winding ever downward until it unfurls into a loose coil of wood, also guiding the power cord to the bottom. Just as rings of a tree reveal age, the coiled layers of Bunaco represent the careful hours of craftsmanship required to construct such a precisely hand constructed form.
The Bunaco speaker is available for overseas customers for about $1,092 upon request via the Bunaco website.