Mike Giles launched Furni almost a decade ago after a series of bespoke woodworking gigs yielded an excess of supplies. Since then, the Quebec-based brand has since kept busy producing everything from alarm clocks to cutting boards and limited-edition wallet-and-bandana combos. As part of the latest collection—Be Prepared—Giles debuted a DIY speaker kit that comes with all the necessary components to put together your very own Bluetooth-friendly gizmo. Amplifier? Check! Auxiliary audio line? Present! Wall adapter? You betcha! What form these will take after the un-boxing, however, is completely up to you.
"It’s always in the back of my mind to put materials out there to see what others can do with them," Mike Giles tells Co.Design. In order to promote the launch, he commissioned six designers to go wild with the gear, asking each to create a unique casing. "It was a great excuse for me to work with my peers," he says, and the results are a cool showcase for just a few of the myriad ways to customize. Aaron Daley housed his in a simple A-frame slab of wood with a couple pops of royal blue, while Phil Savard opted for a more ethereal approach, covering the functional elements in a triangular cloud (in fact, the two would actually look pretty neat, one mounted above the other).
The options are pretty endless in terms of modding these out to suit your style. "The only thing that takes a bit of time is figuring how you’d like to enclose the speakers to make them sound their best," Giles says. So what about those who are super keen but not particularly creatively inclined? UK artist Matt Nicholson has got them covered with a downloadable template that will disguise the tech in a cardboard box that looks like an old-school boombox. And if you’re opposed to printouts, Kendall is Furni’s very own model that uses the same innards as the kit but comes fully assembled.
Portable speakers are all the rage, and these are pretty compact. But can you tote them along for an electricity-free afternoon? Well, kinda. "Officially yes, unofficially no," Giles says. Kendall and its component parts were developed to be wireless and rechargeable, but the battery is currently being "optimized." Because of this, he recommends keeping them docked with a wall charger to ensure the most awesome possible tuneage. That being said, the current incarnation can last up to four hours on a single charge.
All photography by Julie Langenegger Lachance
(h/t MoCo Loco)