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Teno | 2020-2021

Teno | 2020-2021
Teno | 2020-2021

Designers: Max Gunawan, Lumio, LLC., San Francisco, California, USA
Manufacturer: Lumio, LLC., San Francisco, California, USA

Teno | 2020-2021
Teno | 2020-2021

Project Description

On its surface, Teno is a beautifully crafted bowl sculpture, made from natural sand. When cracked open, it comes alive, revealing soft, warm light that you can adjust with a simple tap. When fully open, it's a powerful speaker, releasing a rich sound that you control through touch.

At Lumio, the designers wanted to pivot away from the formulaic sameness that marks so much consumer technology, and from the planned obsolescence built into so many products. It was this urge that gave rise to Teno, to create a high-end speaker and warm light embedded in a beautifully handcrafted sculpture. Teno celebrates imperfection, delights the senses, and gradually patinas over time.

In place of that sleek disposability we see so often, it aims for a feeling that’s a little more human. From the start, Teno veered away from the standard form factor of audio products. Eliminating any buttons or other elements that signaled tech, we asked: How should people feel when they touch Teno’s surface? This led to a loose interpretation of the ancient sound bowl, albeit with a powerful bluetooth-connected speaker at its core.

We found ourselves inspired by kintsugi, the Japanese art of piecing together broken parts rather than throwing them away. Teno is designed to instill calm and delight. A gentle chirping of birds announces your bluetooth connection; subtle drops of water indicate low battery.

Its outer shell is made from natural sand, giving it a natural feel. It automatically switches on when you crack it open and switches off when the two halves are put back together. You control the volume by running your finger up or down along either side of the bowl’s curve. The light is adjusted by tapping the top center side of the bowl.

Each gesture connects with the natural texture of the sand, while gradually creating a fine patina. For all its embrace of nature, Teno comes with a powerful 45-millimeter full-range driver, delivering deep bass and crystal-clear treble. A perfect blend of invisible technology that makes a great speaker in the background while letting the user experience take center stage.