Alessio Gentile is an Italian artisan who, working in the Restoration and Craftsmanship Association Laboratorio Ennio Gentile, had the idea of creating a 100% sustainable tool which can amplify the music reproduced by our smartphone. Its name is “Filofono” and below you can find the short interview we had with its creator.
SOYC: “Alessio, can you please talk about your project, explain us how does it work and focus on its sustainability?”
Alessio: “Filofono is an acoustic speaker for smartphones. There are no cables or wireless systems, the sound of music gets louder and warmer just because of the shape and the materials that we use: thin wood, water based colors, nails and glue. The production is completely handmade, it takes a week of work to complete one Filofono. The project is focused on sustainability for two main reasons: Filofono is a great choice to listen music in a domestic environment without buying a wireless/bluetooth speaker. That means, of course, energy saving. The second reason is the material: wood is a good alternative, especially when it comes from certified forests, if we want to reduce our plastic use for technology tools with low-life term.”
SOYC: “Where does the idea of Filofono take its origin?”
Alessio: “The idea was to build a beautiful object, with a vintage touch, meant to be useful and not only decorative. Only at the end of the creation we realized that Filofono had this natural feeling of a non-invasive design; a good, colored, sustainable alternative to the black bluetooth speakers that we see everyday. A natural amplifier that will never run out of energy. But also a nice item that invites everybody to play with it.”
SOYC: “Why did you decide to create that tool?”
Alessio: “Because I wanted to create a peculiar object, completely handmade, to represent the local craftsmanship and to celebrate the spirit of the people that are working there. I think that we need to start again to care about the importance of manual work and to understand how it can be useful to answer the urgency of finding new solutions for a sustainable design.”
SOYC: “What did inspire you and your idea of creating ‘Filofono’?”
Alessio: “Filofono is built following the shape of the old theatre speakers of the ’30’s. These models were huge, because they were meant to spread the sound of the first talking motion pictures. The horns were positioned behind the screen, so the effect must have been very impressing. We reduced the size and studied how to adapt the width of smartphones inside the speaker, keeping attention to balance the weight of the Filofono with a semi-circular foot. The shape reminds, also, the old gramophone bells, and that’s very close to the sound effect that generates.”
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