Sonos Listening Library at The Standard, East Village

The 2012 Noho Design District starts today! We and all of our amazing exhibitors have been working so hard to ensure it’s better than ever (check out the behind-the-scenes setup photos on our Facebook page), we’re getting tired just thinking about it. Luckily there’s a Hästens circular bed — and all manner of furniture made for lounging — in the Sonos Listening Library at The Standard, East Village, where NDD visitors can sprawl out on furniture by up-and-coming American designers and listen to music emanating from Sonos wireless speakers, including Lindsey Adelman and Kiel Mead’s epic Soundalier collaboration pictured above. Mead was also asked by show organizers CoolHunting, Architizer, and Dwell to curate the objects on display in the Listening Library, recruiting an impressive array of little-seen pieces from Taylor Mckenzie-Veal, Evan Dublin, Peter Oyler, Brendan Keim, Brendan Timmins, Tim Richartz, Ashira Isreal, Reed Wilson, Henry Julier, Ian Geoghegan, and Michael Cummings. We asked Mead to tell us more about the project; read his explanation here, then be sure to stop by the show this weekend if you’re in New York!
A designer assembling the Soundalier in Adelman’s studio

“Evan approached me because of my access to the most diamond-in-the-rough emerging talents in America, through my work with the American Design Club. To create a listening environment for Sonos speakers, I was trying first of all to find furniture that would be comfortable, because I knew people would be using it. This is not a show that’s all white pedestals — it’s an interactive installation. The room is arranged strategically so you get the best quality listening experience. I also really wanted to pay attention to materials, because the quality of materials that goes into Sonos products is so high. Finally, I made it a strong rule while doing this that I only wanted to use work by emerging talents. Ian Geoghegan, for example, works for me, and developed the pieces in this show during his senior year at Pratt.

“Sonos wanted someone to take their speakers and incorporate them into a design element, and I asked Lindsey Adelman to help. Lindsey is one of my favorite designers currently working, and Sonos’s Play: 3 speakers are a similar size to the blown-glass light fixtures on her Branching Bubble chandeliers. I was originally going to use her DIY kit for the Soundalier and buy all the parts to assemble it, but she took one look at the speakers and said there’s no way they’d be held on by hardware parts, we were going to have to use her custom parts to hold the weight. But she said, ‘This sounds like fun, and I like fun, so let’s do it.'”

“In the finished installation there are various vignettes set up to enjoy music, with a speaker playing in each area. There’s the Hästens circle bed, because one place you’d listen to music is in your bedroom. There’s also a couch area, and a reading chair — for each vignette, a speaker is pointed directly at a specific point on the floor, and if you sit where that point is, you’re now in the sweet spot, and you’re hearing that speaker at its most high quality. The Soundalier is the focal point, hanging above it all.”

Halsey Bench and Chair, Pete Oyler / Assembly DesignUnion Table, Pete Oyler / Assembly DesignMinute Side Table, Taylor McKenzie-VealModal Lamp, Taylor McKenzie-VealPour Tables, Tim RichartzComposition With Striped Wing, Boomerang & Blue Puddle, Brendan Timmins