Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
The TMA-2 Modular headphone system merges product design innovation, commercial viability and CSR in a modular, interchangeable design. The system allows for an easy change or upgrade of parts, leading to a longer product lifespan, flexibility, reduced costs, less waste and consequently a reduced strain on the environment.
As a part of the choosing process, the headphones are selected or configured online at the AIAIAI website and selected retailers, helping the users choose/build their own version from four different parts: Headband, Speaker Unit, Earpads and Cables.
Ultimately, TMA-2 Modular is a simple solution to a complex problem: An increasingly eclectically-minded user wants increasingly sophisticated tools that cater to his or her specific needs.
Providing a vast range of options across sound, function, comfort and design - for music production, DJing, listening at home or being on the move- the system seeks to offer the perfect solution for every conceivable type of music enthusiast/genre.
Thus giving people a higher degree of influence, as it expands into more parts, editions and configurations in the future.
It's a fairly drastic yet wholly necessary rethinking of a cluttered product category with a clean, functionalist design, aiming to be relevant for generations to come as opposed to flavor of the month. A paradigm shift within headphones that accommodates the diversity of contemporary living and leads to reduced costs for the company and less waste in the environment.
AIAIAI is a small Danish headphone company that is known for its functional design rooted in the Scandinavian design tradition, and good sound. The target audience is a mixture of both aspiring and professional DJs, music artist as well as design conscious consumers.
AIAIAI wanted to make a new range of headphones. A natural evolution of the TMA-1 series with a multitude of different functions to accommodate the demands of the contemporary, multi-faceted user and music professional.
Modularity is and was a driving factor. We wanted to create a system, rather than one individual product with limited versatility. Earlier problems with a specific product issue of headphone snaps prompted an intense focus on a strong build, easy and quick replacement of parts and the possibillity of upgrade. All in all, this provides a longer product life span.
Moreover, we believe that an innovative approach to headphones is not only about modularity. It's beneficial that we are wasting less than we did before. In this way, the CSR/sustainability part of the equation is a natural extension of TMA-2 Modular.
In the past, input from artists, labels and users in general has been difficult to react to as the production set up was more rigid. With modularity AIAIAI are now able to implement new ideas in a completely different way, as we can now upgrade on the individual part or introduce new parts rather than a complete headphone, as it was the case in the past.
Overall value for the end user:
Providing a vast range of interchangeable options across sound, function, comfort and design, TMA-2 Modular is a headphone system that lets you create your own unique, personalized product - while enabling a quick and easy change and upgrade of individual parts along the way. TMA-2 Modular provides 360 different configuration possibilities. For music professionals this means the opportunity to adapt and tailor the system to a creative context, from studio production or audio editing, to DJing or listening on the move. For everyone else it means the subtle dissolution of categories - the freedom to be yourself. While wasting less than before and being mindful of the environment.
The panel loved the modularity of the solutions and the open-ended customization this project delivers to a very specific audience.
The solution is aseptically pleasing, thoughtful, informed by a need they identified and is open enough to provide a great solution for the end user.