Mapu Preto

“O som da Terra” - Handcrafted clay speakers

The project

“O som da Terra” – Handcrafted clay speakers.

THE CHALLENGE
All over the world crafts are facing the same challenges; traditional knowledge and millenniaold tradition are being substituted by industrial mass-production, crafts(wo)men are lacking opportunities and therefore also successors, while many distinctive and natural materials with amazing properties are being overseen. Especially rural areas are affected by the increasing industrialization and globalization, ultimately leading to an irreversible loss of cultures and intangible cultural heritage!  

THE SOLUTION
With Mapu Preto we want to re-think crafts and re-think production methods! We want to change the prevailing paradigms of mass-production of consumer electronics by creating unique and meaningful objects that are deeply related to the particular materials, and cultures of the places they come from. Our dream is to support rural areas to locally produce contemporary high-end products and ultimately train new generations of artisans who keep old manufacturing-tradition alive.
Therefore, we decided to fuse crafts and technology, regional materials and ancestral traditions from Portugal with acoustics expertise from Denmark to create an eco-friendy high-tech product that combines past and present with a vision for the future.

DOCUMENTARY DESIGN (Germany)

DOCUMENTARY DESIGN is a studio founded by Pablo Ocqueteau & Philine von Düszeln to create an interdisciplinary design and cultural project related to the identity and materiality of places.

ARTANTIGA (Portugal)

ARTantiga, run by brothers Luis and José Lourosa, is part of a new generation of potteries. They bring together the old techniques in harmony with today’s resources to produce outstanding pieces.

SOUND HUB DENMARK (Denmark)

Sound Hub Denmark is the world’s first international sound technology and innovation environment for companies and entrepreneurs that want to be world-class within their field.

STORYTELLING

THE IDEA:

Our project has been conceived with the dream to reunite two apparently antagonic worlds – crafts and technology. Thus, we decided to create a handmade high-tech product using overlooked eco-effective materials, standing for cultural identity, transparency, fair-trade, regional manufacturing traditions and aesthetics.

With Mapu Preto we want to make ancient knowledge and skills essential tools for the construction of the future and to give a new perspective to traditional crafts. We want to change the prevailing paradigm of mass-production of consumer electronics and to support the formation of a new generation of potters through heritage-led-innovation!

Also, we consider that speakers come with a multi-sensorial experience, appealing to ears, eyes and touch, and are convinced that they should be objects that are unique and identity-building. We want our speakers to smoothly integrate into the living rooms, so that people place them in a central position which will eventually be favorable for their acoustic performance.

THE BIRTH OF THE PROJECT:

In 2019 we read about the traditional black pottery-work and the Soenga-firing from Molelos in Portugal. When we met Luís and Manuel Lourosa we were immediately impressed by the professionality of their work and decided to join forces.   
Some months earlier we had received an invitation from SoundHub Denmark to take part in a residency program in their facilities in Struer, learning from experts, experimenting with shapes and techniques to develop a new speaker with improved acoustics. So, this time for our new speaker series Mapu Preto we started with a more technical approach.
As designers we are also aware of the growing consciousness of the consumers. More and more people are seeking products with a story to tell, identity and origin, and appreciate ecological high-end materials, resource-efficiency in production and short(er) transportation routes, ultimately searching for a different way of production and consumption.       

THE CREATIVE PROCESS:

In the context of the WORTH! Partnership program we developed two design variations – ‘Mapu Preto’ (traditional black ceramics through oxygen reduction during the firing process) and ‘Mapu Soenga’ (silver-black-marbled, traditional firing in an earth pit, UNESCO Heritage), both as active Mono and Stereo variation. Each of them is a unique, hand-made and culturally sustainable piece of art, made out of eco-friendly materials in fair and transparent production. The biggest challenge of our creative process was probably to bring together disciplines as different as handmade crafts and hi-fi technology, and materials as different as amplifiers with microchips and clay pots! The technological heart-piece is identical in each of our speakers and designed on a milimetrical basis. But when we asked potters and wood-turners to fabricate identical and milimetrical pieces by hand, they first rejected our request saying that we were asking for something impossible.

On the pottery side Luis and Jose Lourosa suggested to reach a production of small series, by having one part of the vases entirely hand-thrown on the potter’s-wheel and fired with the traditional soenga-technique, and another part made of liquid clay in a mold, finished on the potter’s-wheel and fired in a gas kiln. Last but not least the sound design was quite a process! Together with the engineers Peter Chapman and Benny Jhu and the support of experts from Bang & Olufsen and the SoundHub network we developed a new amplifier with external DAC and Aptx codec, a BT 5.0 module and an improved DSP, a bigger speaker volume with a new bass-reflex tube in combination with high-quality 4” full-range drivers. In specific measurements we could verify the positive properties which the spherical shape and the hardness of the vases had for the sound reproduction of our speakers. 

THE COLLABORATION:

In this partnership we brought together crafts and technology, North and South of the continent, Portuguese ceramics, cork, wood and wool-felts with Danish hi-fi acoustics and audio expertise, and of course our respective skills and knowledge. Pablo and I, as designers, directors and project managers have worked closely together with the team from Denmark and the team from Portugal (partly in person, partly via video conferences).

We were lucky enough to learn incredibly much from both sides and to be able to create a “bridge of heritage-led-innovation”. Of course, the support of the Worth! Partnership Project was fundamental for this first experimenting phase, since it permitted us to finance the materials and travelling costs for the prototype development and also offered us mentoring and access to new inter-European networks and markets. After all, we are more than satisfied with the collaboration and with the final prototypes!

THE FUTURE:

To us, Mapu is rather a ‘project’ than a product, and actually it is an excuse to make a step towards the world that we dream of. Through the Mapu project we want to re-think crafts and to re-think production methods and to motivate others to do likewise!
We want to use overlooked natural materials, and to change the prevailing paradigm of mass-production of consumer electronics, to eventually support rural areas to locally produce contemporary high-end products.

All over the world there are unique ceramics, Morocco, Japan, India, Etiopia, Italy to name only some of them, and everywhere talented crafts(wo)men are facing the same challenges. Our dream is to develop new product designs in the near future, following the same principles of heritage-led-innovation and to support through the training of new artisans who keep old manufacturing tradition alive through the sales of our speakers. We think of the future of Mapu as an exciting journey, connecting cultures and traditions, past and present with a vision for the future.

THE MESSAGE:

We dream of a world where ancient knowledge and skills become essential tools for the construction of the future. We dream of a crafts-revolution!
And afterall, we don’t want to compete to be the best speakers in the world, but to cooperate to become the best speakers for the world!

PARTNERSHIP PROJECTS

The vase

The vase

Lumimóza

Lumimóza

3D metal panels

3D metal panels

Thinking Woman’s Chair

Thinking Woman’s Chair

Aeras-x Seat for Drone Taxis

Aeras-x Seat for Drone Taxis

The Vegan Sheep

The Vegan Sheep

Loom-State

Loom-State

Common Sands 2.0

Common Sands 2.0

Maretech

Maretech

Minois

Minois

STEM a garment production brand

STEM a garment production brand

Storytelling Garment Project

Storytelling Garment Project

Mapu Preto

Mapu Preto

Minta

Minta

NO/thing

NO/thing

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

Modifiable Vegan Bag Collection

In the Circle

In the Circle

Clotho

Clotho

Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

Vibro-Tactile Textiles

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

LÈBIU – let’s CORK it

WeAr Design

WeAr Design

Freskos

Freskos

ALMA

ALMA

Bubble Façade

Bubble Façade

Crossing Parallels

Crossing Parallels

EnaOna

EnaOna

SEISMIC GARMENT

SEISMIC GARMENT

Rethinking the Bra

Rethinking the Bra

Kinematic handbag by RMATURA

Kinematic handbag by RMATURA

Nova Underwear

Nova Underwear

BioChromatic

BioChromatic

Dimmenso

Dimmenso

Beaggie

Beaggie

Ignorance is Bliss Carpet Collection

Ignorance is Bliss Carpet Collection

WE ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE

WE ARE NOT IN THIS ALONE

H|H

H|H

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Vibrant-barrier-free glassware collection

Edge Chair

Edge Chair

Marbled Salts

Marbled Salts

Moseanic

Moseanic

Kombucha TSUGI

Kombucha TSUGI

LiLO

LiLO

The Eastern Side of Riviera

The Eastern Side of Riviera

Future Wardrobe

Future Wardrobe

Ventri

Ventri

FreyZein

FreyZein

SILENCIO

SILENCIO

Re-Print Ceramics

Re-Print Ceramics

Vivid

Vivid

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

A Phyne Bomber Jacket

Burning For

Burning For

Circular workwear collection

Circular workwear collection

Recontile

Recontile

Fashion Colada

Fashion Colada

SCALA

SCALA

New Matters

New Matters

Not 2 Forget

Not 2 Forget

Agogic – Be prepared for more

Agogic – Be prepared for more

SMARTCOAT with ETHICS

SMARTCOAT with ETHICS

Mocha Split

Mocha Split

Reframd

Reframd

Zerobarracento

Zerobarracento

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

ALLCA Disruptive Rugs

Wearable Play

Wearable Play

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Wear-Abouts Baltic Sea

Gelatex x NO/AN

Gelatex x NO/AN

Luxury Bag Collection

Luxury Bag Collection

Amalgama

Amalgama

TTorch

TTorch

From the ground

From the ground

Biolea

Biolea

Ultra

Ultra

Capsule coat project

Capsule coat project

Mayya x WORTH

Mayya x WORTH

The Space in Between

The Space in Between

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Rustic Wool Robotuft

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Cartiera & SwIdeas present: Change!

Fish_Fish

Fish_Fish

Common Sands

Common Sands

UCQC Inclusive

UCQC Inclusive

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Gabriella Veszpremi X Inpelsa

Mowo

Mowo

i-Morfé

i-Morfé

Iguaneye

Iguaneye

Ruumy

Ruumy

Fugazi Fugazi

Fugazi Fugazi

Serisole

Serisole

Hi-LAMP

Hi-LAMP

Lucid

Lucid

Senss

Senss

Walkytalkies

Walkytalkies

Sole sustainability

Sole sustainability

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

A Warm, Light, Luxurious, Sustainable Cloak

Spell My Name

Spell My Name

The “Bib” chair

The “Bib” chair

Materia Bruta

Materia Bruta

Planned Space Pooling

Planned Space Pooling

3D knitwear on demand

3D knitwear on demand

Lit Lace Interface

Lit Lace Interface

iluTex

iluTex

Sukka 

Sukka 

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

PineSkins Soft Wall Tiles

Unmoist Raincoat

Unmoist Raincoat

IOT Jacket & Robot

IOT Jacket & Robot

Stars Collection

Stars Collection

Words that shimmer

Words that shimmer

Persona

Persona

PULSAR

PULSAR

Identity 560

Identity 560

Øjenfryd

Øjenfryd

The Ghost Bag

The Ghost Bag

Diluci bags

Diluci bags

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

M2M furniture (Made 2 Measure Furniture)

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Myhand Prosthetic Socket

Oceanwear

Oceanwear

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

t-Studio – 3D fashion design network

Curve

Curve

Multifunctional Textiles

Multifunctional Textiles

Fashion Designing in an Inclusive World

Fashion Designing in an Inclusive World

‘Parameter’ Table

‘Parameter’ Table

Occay

Occay

KICS

KICS

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

ERGOVI – healthy multiposture chair

PreemieCme

PreemieCme

Circular Bags

Circular Bags

Clayer

Clayer

Lulu V2

Lulu V2

Fishskinlab

Fishskinlab

Dynaback

Dynaback

Esther Hates PVC

Esther Hates PVC

Gardin

Gardin

Foldable High Heels

Foldable High Heels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Sustainable Acoustic Panels

Edbora Collection

Edbora Collection

Smart Heated Vest

Smart Heated Vest

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

ACDL Artisan Chausseur Design Lab

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Smart Life Jacket In Watersport

Fragments Garments

Fragments Garments

Hollow: A Lie Story

Hollow: A Lie Story

FWN: Family Wear Nature

FWN: Family Wear Nature

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Himaero “The Emotional Jewel”

Spellbound

Spellbound

Wear Pure

Wear Pure

Connextyle

Connextyle

Unlimited in 1

Unlimited in 1

Paramatrix

Paramatrix

Feel More Knitwear

Feel More Knitwear

Skarabeos 2

Skarabeos 2

Twill

Twill

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

Fashionable Wearable Camera Accessory

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair

‘Margarete’ – Cork Task Chair