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No two radios are exactly the same in the Magno Radio Collection because each one is individually handcrafted, notes Singgih Kartono. The Indonesian designer aimed to reinterpret the iconic transistor he grew up on in something other than plastic. Using wood, he believes, "will help to build a closer relationship [between the radio and] to its user." We couldn't agree more. Yet aesthetics is only one of the deciding factors behind the collection of hard wood radios that Singgih has realized in four models. IKoNO is the first and second to smallest of the group. It boasts a two band receiver, FM and AM, and can be connected Mp3 players. With the richness derived from instruments made of wood in mind, organic vitality matters just as much. So, too, the planet. The Indonesian designer enlists local carpenters in villages with high unemployment and instead of simple (and forgettable) souvenirs, they craft the shell with locally harvested new growth wood. Runs on AA batteries. For every tree used in production, a new one is planted. Award winner from the International Design Resource Association (IDRA).
“Craft is an alternative economic activity that has the potential to be developed and to grow in villages,” says designer Singgih Kartono of Magno. “It is labor intensive, requires low technology and investment and abundance of local material input.” Based in Indonesia, Singgih wanted to improve the lives of villagers in his native Kandangan in central Java by enlisting them to turn out exceptional products as agriculture in the area declined. Using locally harvested new wood, the business is ecologically sound and a new tree is planted for every one harvested for production. “Magno comes from word 'magnify' for a magnifying glass, the first product which I created,” he says, adding that it’s an allusion to his way of seeing all the details in “a small, simple and beautiful form with high quality craftsmanship.”