Anyone who has ever owned a laptop knows that sound quality is never a strong suit for any portable device. LaCie’s Sound² USB powered speakers are an elegant solution for the ubiquitous cacophony of coarse noise emitting from notebook computers. Best of all, Neil Poulton – the renowned Scottish product designer based in Paris – is the man responsible. While most designers have an idiosyncratic style that is purposefully salient, Poulton specializes in inconspicuous simplicity and minimalism. The design is successful in every aspect of its minimal composition. Poulton was able to create an affordable product without compromising any value. The contrasting elements of the black cover to its white base give the speakers an illusion of airy lightness. I also love how the circular extrusion of the speaker is slightly larger than its base, allowing the speaker to slightly prop up toward the user.
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During 5 years London based studio Industrial Facility and LaCie worked together on Little Disk Hard Drives. The project covered over 10 product variations, ranging from 1.3” to 2.5” drives, and capacity’s from 30GB to 1TB, leading to a holistic design language. They aimed to liberate the drives of all unnecessary details, and making them more reliable. Some might say the products were too simple – but over time, they created a greater sense of value and relevance for their application. The hard drives, varying sizes and capacity, are small minimalist boxes without joints or hinges. When you remove the cover, an integrated USB cable, sockets, a back-up synchronisation button, adapters and voltage plugs are revealed. Each hard drive is made from ABS Plastic. For the makers it was important that the drives involved no paint in their finishing, resulting in easier recycling of parts, and a more authentic wearing of use over time.