Category Archives: home

Sonos: Defaulting to the Simplest Solution

Patrick Spece is the CEO of Sonos. Sonos? You might recall, that Sonos speakers were a while ago, quite revolutionary – wireless and high quality. Since then, wireless Bluetooth speakers are everywhere.

So Spence needs to get the company focused on taking the right next steps – to differentiate it. He says

“We are focused on the home sound system and filling people’s homes with music,” he says. “We’re not focused on figuring out how to be the world’s largest retailer, or focused on trying to be the voice-search option for people.” Such thinking explains why Sonos spent four years building Playbase, the $700 soundbase launching today.

Playbase? It looks like this.

Image result for Sonos Playbase

Not the TV! The white thing under the TV.

You could view the Playbase as a perfect complement to the existing Sonos lineup, another beautiful speaker in the set. That’s what Sonos wants. No one at Sonos ever tires of saying Sonos is, first and foremost, a music company. But you could also see the Playbase as the company’s most radical move yet, a bold gambit to win coveted space in people’s living rooms and set itself up as the interface of interfaces, the tool through which all other gadgets and protocols communicate. To make sure that no matter what you use, you can use Sonos. Sonos likely won’t say that, for fear of alienating its partners—many of whom have similar ideas. But that’s the only way for Sonos to make itself undisruptable, invincible to the Echoes of the future.

But the above does not do justice to what the Sonos team did to make the Playbase work amazingly well. Just one example –

After much experimentation, the team finally landed on a design that called for the drilling of 43,000 individual holes in the fascia. Because there are five different sizes of holes — which start small near the middle of the cabinet and gradually increase toward the sides — they had to be drilled rather than molded. In order for the bass to escape, the holes near the reflex port needed to have a larger diameter than the ones covering the midrange drivers and tweeters, but if this diameter had been used for all of the holes, it would have compromised the look of the speaker.

So yes, this is expensive. But do you want quality or what?

Pierre Cardin’s Bubble Palace

The Bubble Palace was built between 1975 and 1989 by the Hungarian architect Antti Lovag, who wanted to design a home that mimicked prehistoric human dwellings in caves. Its undulating lines, circular spaces and lack of corners were the trademarks of Lovag, who said he considered the straight line to be ‘an aggression against nature’.

Image result for Pierre Cardin bubble palace

Check out the Guardian for some amazing pics!

BTW, it is on the market for €350mm. I love this shot that includes the neighbor’s place

Image result for Pierre Cardin bubble palace

Yes, I want a Solar Roof

My house needs a new roof. But instead of installing one, I am just repairing it. Why? I am waiting for Tesla to come out with their solar roofs.

What is the big deal?  If the promises hold true, this is the technology of the future. The roof will look better than my roof does now, and it will generate electricity. And  if the cost is not too outrageous, what could go wrong=

BI offers an update — Tesla plans to release their first solar roofs this year.

Pic of the Day: A Rug or a city Map?

Some architects do other types of design in their spare time. Like designing a rug.

From Wired

After creating stunning clothing, furniture, and accessories, architect Elena Manferdini decided to give carpets a try. Her colorful Urban Fabric rugs, made with hand-woven New Zealand wool, recall subway maps or urban grids. She adapted them from a series of abstract drawings, inspired by the work of famed Modernist architect Mies van der Rohe, she created for her Art Institute of Chicago exhibition Building Portraits.

This might be ok until the third martini takes hold. What do you think?

And How Much Will that Solar Roof Cost?

We are used to the idea that going solar is expensive. But consider this, from Elon Musk

“It’s looking quite promising that a solar roof will actually cost less than a normal roof before you even take the value of electricity into account. So the basic proposition would be ‘Would you like a roof that looks better than a normal roof, lasts twice as long, costs less and by the way generates electricity’ It’s like, why would you get anything else.”

Wow! Count me in!

And I am not the only one drooling over this. Fred Wilson is head over heals for Tesla.