The desire for customisation grows as time passes; today, it can be seen as a contributor to particular individualities. This notion grants not only unique identities, but also efficient functionalities.
Often, customisation means modularity when it comes to design. Using this duality, Copenhagen-based audio company AIAIAI envisioned their TMA-2 Headphone System, which relies on individual parts to operate. By deconstructing a regular set of headphones, the designers at AIAIAI set up an array of minimal pieces for customers to play a game of matchmaking according to their own taste. Building on a palette of black and gunmetal, the final assemblies rest comfortably on its wearers like edgy headwear. With 4 different speaker units, 7 ear pads, 10 cables, and 4 headbands (with one being developed), the variety makes minimalism an exciting game of construction.
AIAIAI’s success continues with their development of a wireless headband on Kickstarter called H05 that has an integrated Bluetooth module. This push in technology enhances one’s normative experience of listening; it simplifies the loose elements of headphones to compact them into one single unit. The controls are embedded within H05 as well.
Modularity is perhaps one of the design solutions that designers often offer, but not all of them are successes. For me, it’s a comforting feeling that a small company like AIAIAI can put forth a beautiful and minimal design such as the TMA-2 System. It’s not a revolution, but it’s a reassurance that modularity can happen, and it can happen in the simplest manner.