To celebrate the relaunch of the Nike Vomero 5, we took this technical, yet low-key masterpiece over to meet Maddie and Jack at Concept Object.
Carving out their own masterpieces, the duo at Concept Object have built a name for themselves by reclaiming and reimagining old speakers. Using a simplistic aesthetic much like the Vomero 5, Maddie and Jack bring these vintage speakers back to life with a new lease of life.
We sat down with them both to learn more about this venture and where this fascination came from.
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Footpatrol: Hello both! It’s nice to finally meet you both, how have you been?
Concept Object: Busy! Lot’s of pop ups and Christmas parties have been chasing our sustainable sound but it’s keeping us warm and we are always ready for the next challenge.
Footpatrol: Firstly, thanks for joining us for our latest Footpatrol Discussions feature. It’s nice to finally stop admiring your work from a far and get an up close and personal look at the stunning speakers you’ve been creating.
Can you introduce yourselves and tell us how the journey of Concept Object began?
CO: We both design shops and events and over lock down had plywood left over from canceled projects, we also have a love for refurbishing and recycling, building up a collection vintage audio we took the plywood and our stash of speakers and started working on our first Concept Object with the help of extraordinary crafts people as part of our community and we haven’t really looked back.
Footpatrol: It’s great to see these old, reclaimed speakers being given a new lease of life with an updated look and feel. Do the certain speakers define the shapes when it comes to designing or do you have a set design ethos?
CO: We like strong and simple shapes and yes you are right volumetrically they have to be a certain size to fit a certain speaker, we love large JBL drivers that are accessible as cinemas tend to replace them and we save them from going to the scrap heap.
Footpatrol: So, let’s talk about sound… What is it about the sound these speakers produce that captured your attention?
CO: Big is big, big sound, big vibe. There’s a certain rhythmic and ritual sound that comes from a Concept Object. It’s environmentally altering and emotionally triggering.
Footpatrol: With you making speakers, do you both have a background within music or is it the carefully designed objects and sound they create that you’re fascinated by?
CO: We have a background in space design and our ambition has always been to create spaces that foster a sense of belonging and wonder and yes sound is an integral part of that.
Footpatrol: Do you have an early memory of music and speakers around the house that started this love affair? I know for me, growing up with a dad thats played in Blues bands all my life I’ve been surrounded by music. I remember him starting up his Leslie amps and them shaking the entire house!
CO: Wow we would love a Leslie amp! Having played in bands I can understand the connection that can be cultivated through playing and it’s something that I have sort after into adulthood. I think technically musicians refer to it as ‘feel’ when two people are jamming but it sounds like there are more. The rolling stones described it as the third man coming to visit and it is why Jack White’s record company is called Third Man Records. That feel never really leaves you.
Footpatrol: As you know, we at Footpatrol may be considered slightly obsessed with sneakers and we noticed in a previous interview that your dream client would be Tom Sachs. A man well known now within the world of sneakers, what is it about him that makes him your dream client?
CO: He is foremost an artist and his work across the board has been an inspiration, exploring the rituals and routine, culture and creativity through his artistic speaker sculptures is very Concept Object, as well as taking inspiration from the beauty of Asian culture and class.
Footpatrol: We recently did a discussions piece with the artist Charley Peters and we spotted she had been painting one of your speakers in the background. How do you find working on a multi collaborative project?
CO: You can’t do anything on your own, we take any and every opportunity to collaborate and Charley is extraordinarily talented. Her speakers brought Concept Object into new dimensions.
Footpatrol: Do you have any exciting projects upcoming that you’d like to make our audience aware of?
CO: We are working with sustainable plastics, Are you Mad, to make a range of horns as well as some sound sculptures for some very VIP locations that will be dropping next year.
Footpatrol: Thanks again for joining us, it’s been great to chat and we can’t wait to see more from you both.