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World's first speaker cabinet made with holocellulose

In Sweden, Teenage Engineering AB and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden have built a speaker cabinet of holocellulose – a newly researched material with some unique properties. It is wood – but in pure white. Most importantly, it is easy to recycle to become something completely different like apparel, transparent film or even a moisturiser.

The OD-11 speaker cabinet by teenage engineering is made of holocellulose, a pure wood material with some unique properties developed by researchers at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden (photo courtesy RISE).

Developed by researchers at RISE, holocellulose is a pure wood material. Through an innovative way of controlling whiteness in wood, the pure white colour is free from additives such as paint or dye.

The pureness of the wood gives it some unique properties in addition to the colour. Preliminary testing by RISE shows that unlike paper, it does not yellow with ageing. Nor does it turn grey like a wooden deck does when exposed to the weather – it remains completely white. Since there are no additives, it is perfect for reuse.

At teenage engineering we design products to last for decades. We spend a lot of time on all aspects. design, engineering, manufacturing – it all requires a lot of effort to create something stands the test of time. Building this unique edition of the OD-11 together with RISE is an exploration in how we can push that envelope even further, said Jesper Kouthoofd, Head of Design at teenage engineering.

Easy material to repurpose or recycle

The holocellulose cabinet can easily be repurposed to become something completely different like apparel, transparent film or even a moisturiser —without the need for separating out additives.

Teenage engineering and RISE both share the vision of creating a more sustainable society and we play different roles in making that happen. For us, it’s a lot about developing materials that are useful for companies like teenage engineering while being sustainably sourced and viable for manufacturers to produce in an environmentally friendly way. Challenges remain with products like the OD-11 since it still contains materials like metal and glue that complicate recycling, but this is a big step in the right direction. It is together that we can make a difference, said Dina Dedic, Research Leader at RISE.

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