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The World's Simplest Speaker Is Silkscreened On a Piece of Paper

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From afar, designer Coralie Gourguechon's work looks a little bit like macaroni art—or at least a very abstract collage. Up close, though, each piece is an extremely simplistic but entirely functional electronic device. Even this paper-cone speaker.

Gourguechon pares down all of the extraneous stuff that covers the average gadget, until all that's left is a handful of components on a piece of paper. For example, one early project involved making a simple camera out of paper and basic electronics.


Her latest piece—a speaker with amplifier—is also anchored by a single piece of paper. Like a circuit diagram come to life, each of these components is connected to the next through a network of lines that she silkscreens onto the paper with conductive ink. To turn it on, you simply pop out the sound cone, amplifying whatever input you've connected. To turn it off, lay the cone flat again.


A second new project involves the same basic functions—except this time, with a pop-up antenna:


The idea is to "demystify" the way electronics function. "The objective of paper is to simplify the manufacture of electronic assemblies," says Gourguechon in a statement. When every component is laid out on a blank background, these sophisticated pieces of engineering seem as simple as anatomical drawings. [Creative Applications]