Shmuel Linski recalls a childhood fascination with concrete (and its transformation from liquid to solid), but the Israeli designer didn’t start experimenting with the material until a couple of years ago, when he built a concrete canoe. Since then, he’s become fixated on the concept of using the raw texture of concrete in domestic products, instead of the typical plastic and wood. Last year, while still a student at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, he built an elegant espresso machine out of a concrete shell and Lavazza parts. Now he’s introduced a pair of handsome exposed-concrete speakers, whose unusual shape stems from their straightforward construction: a driver at the top connected by a 38-inch pipe to a bass port at the bottom.
“In our homes, we encounter concrete as a ‘hidden’ material.”
?In our homes, we encounter concrete as a ‘hidden’ material which is covered by layers of plaster and paint,” Linski writes on his website. “In my work I tried to give, in addition to great aesthetics, practical reasons for using concrete as a main material in a product.” But there’s a solid reason why concrete isn’t commonly used in audio equipment: The material is stiff and distorts sound. Rather than build in some acoustical padding, the designer got around that issue by shaping the speaker like a horn, which, he says, transforms the sound and compensates for the stiffness, although perhaps not to the standards of persnickety audiophiles. “Sincerely, these are not the best speakers I ever heard,” Linski admits to Co.Design. Yet, they do have a rather singular advantage: At 123 pounds a pair, they’re practically burglar-proof.