2015, Ross Lovegrove
MUO is designed to pave the way for KEF into the growing portable audio market. The premium British brand always stood for uncompromising sound quality and this wireless speaker couldn’t have been an exception, so we devised to reference Muon, the state-of-the-art flagship loudspeaker designed by Lovegrove studio in 2007. Despite these products being at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of scale and price, they both share the same principles: a sturdy seamless aluminium shell and cutting edge acoustic drivers. The organic silhouette of Muon is now translated in a custom perforated layout. Computational design tools enabled us to code the hole pattern to obtain the optimal opening ratio. We also designed soft silicone feet to allow MUO to be sat exactly at the right angle for desktop and table use. These two aspects help avoiding any acoustic distortion and improve the sound experience.
Retailed at $299 MUO represents the first accessible speaker of the 50-year old brand, so it was crucial for us to communicate their core values to a new broader market. In order to do so, we wanted to help the marketing message around something typically unseen: sound. Our filming and photography concept ‘Making waves’ focused on revealing the sound vibrations in a visual form, well suitable for a greater variety of advertising channels. Implementing this in a fairly short amount of time meant overcoming technical challenges such as catching real liquid waves without any CGI intervention, supporting the work of the photographer John Ross.
The speaker was launched in September 2015 during the London Design Festival. Our team curated the exhibition design for the Somerset House event where hundreds of MUO sat at the feet of the majestic Muon creating an orchestra, where each element played a specific frequency. For this special occasion a Launch Edition was created, featuring a unique multicolour anodising process manufactured by Neal Feay – California.
Team: Ross Lovegrove, Andrea Locatelli, Ian Slattery, Christoph Hermann
All images © KEF