Sometimes I have to go with the tangent and see where it leads. Every now and then, you have to go outside your range and push the boundaries. Today, I’m off topic and off the cuff. Consider that fair warning.
I grew up in a family of gadget-fiends. If it had lights or buttons and required some form of power, chances are someone in the house lusted for it. Today, I still like my tech-toys. Gadget tech-toy websites like Engadget or Gizmodo remain a guilty pleasure but I like to think I’ve grown up some too (yes, some might argue that point). Today, my pallet of interests is wider. I build furniture with a style that borrows more from 100 years ago then 100 years from now. I appreciate the new and the old (which I do recognize probably goes with not being so new myself anymore.) I like originality. I like things that have some battle scars just as much as things so futuristic that I can barely identify them. My most recent find is a product that shares the DNA of both. It’s a computer, but not like many others.
When two worlds collide the results can be breathtaking. The resulting mutt can also be downright scary. When the furniture maker’s art collided with computing in the Frankenstein labs of Canadian company Suissa Computers the result is striking. The wood cased computers won’t suit every taste (not sure all the models suit mine) and they definitely won’t suit every budget. The limited edition models are expensive. They run at prices upwards of 2-4 times comparable components in an assembly line box. Still, these products are a welcome retreat from the I-wanna-be-Bang-and-Olufsen-or-copy-Apple approach to product design that seems stamped on nearly every new gadget.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my iPod and other tech toys. I’m all for über-cool modern stylings but it’s nice to see a product with a little life to it. In a world of increasingly A or B, organic vs. mass produced, form vs. function, it’s intriguing to see a marriage of different extremes.
I’m of the school of thought that: simply because something is new or cutting edge, it doesn’t have to look that way. It’s nice to see a company taking a chance on product design by looking elsewhere than the crystal ball. It also fits well with the ongoing trend toward personalization occurring with technology. If recently we were like Henry Ford’s Model T – you can have any color so long as it’s black – now, more and more, the marketplace is providing a few more opportunities for personal choice. (One of these days I will finish an article on personalization)
Seeing what Suissa Computers is doing, I’m tempted to scrap my next furniture project and instead, make myself a new computer.
Just one parting word of advice for the good people at Suissa – get a new mission statement. “Wood is good,” …um….don’t think that has quite the right ring to it. Maybe consider something like "Old is New. Reinvent!"