14 innovative Western designers

These visionary designers and craftsmen are bringing an indie spirit to mainstream design

The tech artist
Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Alissa Walker

The tech artist

In 2010, Joey Roth wowed gadget freaks everywhere with a pair of speakers made from porcelain, cork, and stainless steel, transforming a stereotypically plastic eyesore into a sculptural centerpiece. This fall, he’s debuting a subwoofer, which reproduces bass frequencies, to match. joeyroth.com

Why porcelain for your speakers? It’s just like plastic in the way that it holds a shape, and it’s also very dense and reflective of sound.

What drew you to designing tech products? While my school friends were into computer games, I was obsessed with building computers themselves. I built enclosures from scratch, using wood, metal, old car parts, my mom’s countertop offcuts. Creating a home for cutting-edge components with basic, well-worn materials was enthralling for me, and still is.

What’s your product design philosophy? You’re playing a supporting role to what’s happening. People are playing music through my speakers, so the music is really the point; I’m just creating the context.

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