Lacie Monami

Hey guys, I’m back to share my final project for my freshman studio class at CCS. We were told to design a “desk set” and though most people ended up doing a stapler, pencil holder, and clock, I felt that the true desk set of the modern age consist of peripherals for the laptop. We were also told to choose a brand we were passionate about and design a “believable” product around them.

*Note: Once again, these are pages from the process book so may not flow “ideally”.

Mockups: Urethane foam, leather, electronic parts.
Renders: Photoshop

As usual, past projects available on my blog for those interested:

I like your take on the deskset, mainly interms of speaker addition. For me however I’m left slightly confused by it all and I don’t feel that it reflects the Lacie brand.

Firstly my take on the aesthetic.

The lacie brand language although quite geometric has a fair amount of what I call product mass to it. Part of the "high end "aesthetic is down to the perception of yes that looks solid not going to break any time soon. The Monami design however looks incredibly precarious due to the void running through the middle and only being supported at one end.

I am also confused as to where the plush organic surface has come from. I see Starcks Hdd has quite a lovely large centraly sculptured mass but its hidden within an enclosure and doesn’t affect the overal silohuette

If you look at items by sam hecht, jasper morrison etc… there is a huge amount of attention paid to detail rads, split lines the blending of different shapes colours… a fantastic example is Sam Hechts HP printer

The functionality.

I’m interested as to why paper clips? For me personally I can’t remember the last time I used one these, In our office (including the admin staff) all documents are staplled or left loose in folders. What I can see on our desks however is a shed load of pens (ok thats probably expected being a design office) hole punch, stapler, post it notes, blue tack.

Is that hard drive detachable from the speaker base? Part of the appeal of External HDD’s is there mass storage and portablity. For instance we backup on them and are placed into a fireproof safe at the end of each month

The leather surface being magnetic may be a problem. If i recal magnets and hard drives are a big no no, they will whipe the drive.

Also you have covered the speaker with the HDD which will impact the sound quality

You mentioned in your boards the quote by dieter rams that good design helps us understand the product, I had to really read indepth your boards to understand what was actually looking at.

again good presentation and prototyping skills.

Nice use of leather tho

Ditto the above.

As always, impeccable presentation skills, I’m glad to see that translate into great physical models as well.

The first thing I thought of are magnets and spinning magnetic drives are a problem. The small one on top might not be as bad as the big one bellow. I might be wrong, but I believe speakers are essentially electromagnets.

But I’m curious, why use a spinning drive at all when this could be flash memory? More stable and they are continually figuring out how to get more of it in a single device.

As far as I know, regular magnets, such as those used in speakers, are not strong enough to damage hard disks. An old floppy disks could be damaged with magnets, and people have always believed that magnets + magnetic media don’t mix. Now, stick a HDD into an MRI machine and that’s a different story! :laughing:

Otherwise, my sentiments have already been stated above, aside from the mouse puck, but you’re too young to have used the imac mouse… :confused:

The leather surface being magnetic may be a problem. If i recal magnets and hard drives are a big no no, they will whipe the drive.

The first thing I thought of are magnets and spinning magnetic drives are a problem.

Magnet and HDD
Hi I am a certified computer technician and used to work with Maxtor, Digital, Seagate storage companies for more than 10 years. Lots of people think the magnet will wipe the data out of the HDD.

It’s true, HDD uses magnetic force to read and write data on platters. Two pieces of small magnetic plates are hidden inside the HDD enclosure. But, the enclosure is sealed really well and magnet outside doesn’t affect the data inside if the outside magnet power is not super powerful.

The Monami design looks the leather magnet is only powerful to attract paper clips and the magnet is on the cover of the Monami and doesn’t look like touching the HDD at all.

So, for me it’s pretty safe. Also, in speaker technology, they use magnet for your reference.

If I were the instructor, I would have loved to see what you would have done more in this zone: But I’ve always been a fan of the floating Noguchi river stone look :wink:
Picture 4.jpg

Well, I like the fact that you attacked the modern desk, and I think you have a beautiful piece of art here, but I have to take issue with your presentation:

  1. Putting your name at the end of a list of famous designers just comes across as egotistical, and it sets you up with the viewer.

  2. Although attractive as art, this design is the antithesis of the Rams quote you show “Good design helps to understand a product.” In reality, there are no affordances that suggest any of it’s (six!) features, or suggest how any are used. The USB key for example in no-way communicates its function, or that it can be removed. Just ask some random people what they think it is or how to use it. And I’m not saying design-as-art is wrong, I’m just saying that you shouldn’t present it otherwise.

  3. You know about round mice right?

I like bits and pieces of the design, just not the whole. I agree that it’s nice as desk “art”, but I’d leave it at that. I’d be afraid to break it setting something down on it accidentally, and I just can’t get past the round mouse.

Presentation and detailing is awesome. Regarding concept, it is good and can be very useful. In place of that magnetic clip thing, I would prefer a calculator(software one on PC is not easy for quick calculation and is boring.) or radio or sticky tape or mobile charger dock, which many need almost daily. Just a thought.

It would be awesome if the entire top surface was one of those wireless conductive chargers!

I like the thought that has gone into the mouse in terms of the gestural interfaces both top and bottom, and as I’ve said, I never had an issue with the mac round mouse, but I’m in the minority. A simple ridge or irregularity i n the shape would help most people I think, for instance if it was more of an offset cam shape in stead of a pure circle.

CG has some great points with the use of the Rams quote. The relationships you are setting up are more poetic vs Rams which would be a physical connection. It was a different time. As stated, putting yourself in line with other famous designers cold be perceived a certain way, but I don’t take issue with it. I see it as 1) your a freshman, and 2) you are ambitious and these are the types of designers you set your aim at. I like the spunkyness of it myself. Shoot for the top. Those guys didn’t get their name on products by being bashful about it.

I’d also like to point out that many of your posts draw a high level of conversation. Other students should take note of this. Andrew is provoking people into responding with a high level of feedback and criticism. He is making memorable work.

Thanks for the comments everyone (as usual)!

About the magnets - the magnets are too weak to affect the HDD, and this is possible as paperclips are very small and the HDD is shielded. The speaker will also not be too powerful. For example, many iPod cases had magnetic clasps, despite the internal HDD and, some gaming laptops have built-in sub woofers. (Thanks bennybt, technicol)

The reason for the mouse was not to “copy” the Apple mouse but to reflect shape of the leather, speaker, and USB drive. I know that the mouse is not the most ergonomic mouse in the world but I wanted to create a family of products for the more casual user attracted to unique products. The Logitech MX Revolution is my favorite mouse but I am also a person that would never buy the Monami and be satisfied with the speaker on it. I guess the monami is for someone that would buy the Microsoft arc mouse. But as Yo has said, some small adjustments to the mouse could improve the ergonomics or - the perception of it - greatly.

**Sketchme:**The paperclip feature is truly because I personally use paperclips all the time. To be quite honest, I don’t know how commonly they are used. The reason for the HDD not being “portable” is that it is based on a 3.5" HDD. The current Lacie HDDs based on this drive are not designed to be portable and are marketed as “desktop” drives. It is true that professionals move them around a lot but they are not the target audience. The speaker is also covered by the HDD but is mainly for mid to low range so is not affected too much - and since the user of the Monami is someone that can live with laptop speakers, they won’t be demanding more performance. :wink: Thanks for the in-depth analysis on aesthetics, appreciate it!

Yo: I actually intended in going with a SSD drive - knowing that it would wipe out all the concerns about the magnets but the costs would just be too high. I wanted this to be for a basic user and didn’t want something that’s over a $1000. And I almost went for that look but felt it wasn’t “Lacie” enough.

cg: Thanks for the comment. I got rid of the names, I didn’t want any controversy. It was not my intention to say that I was at the same level as those designers - it was just a requirement for the process book. Also, I agree that the quote isn’t representative of the actual design. The text underneath the quote is my intention and I feel that I used the quote out of context - especially when there are so many preconceived reactions to it.

wods: Thanks! Maybe we could have a modular element and have a bunch of different accessories for different users? :slight_smile:

excellent work. I deeply appreciate when students and young designers show work including research, process, rendering, models and photography. Places you in the top 1%.

I like some of the shapes’ spatial relationships. The cantilever is unique; mixing of materials, especially black leather texture with stark white textureless plastic is very nice. This could be developed in numerous colourways and material options.

A problem is one of situation, illustrated in some of your views. The cantilever aesthetic is observed from a low acute angle, otherwise sightlines would see primarily the top surface and sides.

Unfortunately, the featureless brick with radiused corners is sort of owned by Apple.

Black PTFE? Where you gettin’ black PTFE from?

Technically, there are two problems. Mixing magnets, already discussed, is both a real technical issue as magnetic shielding is different than EMI shielding, and some speaker magnet drivers transmit extremely strong fields, and they’re pulsed. And also, as above discussion shows, it’s a ‘perceived’ problem that could affect a products’ commercial sales.

Another technical issue is frequency coupling. A 7200 RPM hard disk operates at 120 Hz frequency, mid-low audible “bass” frequencies include this 120 Hz region. Force-structure oscillation coupling can run gamut of annoying (skips, missed signal, buzz-squeak-rattle), objectionable (ear bleed squealing), up to catastrophic lethal explosions. Technically, oscillation coupling can be defeated, but it’s a lot of work.

And then there’s another issue, but not the designer’s fault. Electrical connectors, every single one of them, and there are literally millions, are ugly. My pet peeve is any aesthetic design effort sullied by some epic failure of an electronic connector. My holy grail project would be a global design effort on a standard family of electronic connectors.

Hey congrats! Front page of Gizmodo by way of Yanko:


I am very glad you posted on the forum as it can take a lot of guts to do. I think you have a very neat presentation and i like the idea about using the top of the mouse but just have a few other comments.
1 - It took me a while into the presentation to figure out what the device did and what really threw me off was the photo where the product is pictured in the middle of the floor. I dont know about you but thats not where i would leave my hard drive.
2 - Subwoofers tend to bounce anything in front of them and i would hate to think what that would do to something spinning rapidly at big RPM’s.


2 in a row. Nice… on a side note, why are blog comments so lame? the comments below the gizmodo post are so bad.

Because its all about being the funniest. Guess their comment-ranking system doesnt help.

Yeah comment sections are usually the best place to find easy penis jokes. On a serious note though, if you think about it there are definitely some interesting sexual connotations around a moving thing attempting to protrude through a leather membrane. Not being cheeky but it definitely does have some sexual references, be they cultural (leather >>S&M) or physical (form that’s created >>pitching a tent). Not to mention the abundance of pornography on the net, and the fact that the shape is supposed to reference what’s on the disk (which I’m not 100% clear on). I definitely didn’t see the reference when I first saw the project but once it was pointed out it’s definitely one of those…oh sh@#…hmmmm. One of those things that I guess you have to anticipate at times.

I was actually in a process of commenting on this right after you posted but I closed my tab by mistake, but one of the things that I was writing was that you really have the “sexy object” thing going for you Andrew. When I scanned through the project looking for all the great eye candy I didn’t really know what the thing was (thought it was just a speaker for a while), but I immediately knew that I really wanted one sitting on my desk! Industrial Design is so much more than making sexy objects but I will argue that that ability can be as important as any other aspect of what makes a great designer, and I personally have no problem with designs of designers who pursue that or have that leaning. Secretly all the Gizmodo whiners what one.

I’m a big fan of the form, but I also really want it to be just a speaker system that uses that void space as a bass reflex port and has a Bose like chamber system running through it! Awesome stuff Andrew, keep sharing!

I started a whole thread on my dislike for the misuse of the term “SIMPLISTIC” and while I am not sure the
same issues exist with the word “MINIMALISTIC” it bothers me to read, and I’m pretty sure MINIMAL or MINIMALIST will fill all your needs.

I’m gonna dig back into your presentation now.