All Articles
All Articles
TECH

Thumm by Pana Objects

An eye-pleasing beech wood iPhone dock that amplifies your tunes acoustically, with no plugs required

by Nara Shin
on 14 March 2014
pana-objects-thumm-speaker-3.jpg

While many of the latest speakers for smartphones rely on highly specialized tech like Bluetooth or Airplay connectivity, a group of Thai designers chose to strip it all down to one material—beech wood. The result is a simple, beautiful speaker that uses natural acoustics, not circuits. Bangkok-based Pana Objects, a studio started by seven friends, embraces wood—unpainted, left as close to its natural state as possible—as its medium of choice, and it's become their signature look. Whether it's a desk lamp with four legs or a modern interpretation of the sundial clock, the designs are as playful as they are timeless.

The speaker dock is named Thumm, after the Thai word which roughly translates to "nature cave." The design is inspired by sounds of nature resonating in a cave, but also the trumpet—the bell shape gives the naturally resonant frequencies within the brass instrument a boost. Pana Objects applied acoustic properties often used by craftsmen to create musical instruments to hard, solid wood. The result gives a considerable volume boost to the iPhone's otherwise weak native speaker.

pana-objects-thumm-speaker-2.jpg

Pana Objects is unusual in its size: "There are seven of us, and we met each other almost nine years ago as friends who graduated from industrial design at the same design college (KMUTT) in Thailand," Pattarapong Pornpanapong, design director of the Thumm project, tells CH. Before reuniting to start Pana Objects, they had worked in various branches of design—ID consulting, graphic, branding, furniture and even manufacturing. The diversity in their experience has proven to be a strength in developing their product and brand. "Being both designers and craftsmen, every product and creation comes from our own hands, hearts and brains. We don’t compromise quality and detail. Because, after all, it’s personal," he continues.

pana-objects-thumm-speaker.jpg

Indeed, Pana Object's production process is so close and personal that it takes place right behind their studio. They use a CNC milling machine on single blocks of solid European beech wood, and hand finish all of their products to add their delicate maker's touch. Prior to construction, each piece is hand selected at local market in Bangkok. "We love the unique pattern found in beech wood; the detailed grain looks like it's been sketched by a pencil, with a smooth texture and a touch of pale pink sparkle. This tiny detail fits properly with our small wooden pieces, including our little Thumm."

As we've seen with similar products like the Koostik and Houd Speaker, wood smartphone docks can't compete with the powered speaker docks currently on the market, though the elegance and tech-less-ness of the wood guarantees it'll never become outdated. For best results, use Thumm on a hard surface like a glass table top or concrete, as the hard material will amplify the acoustics. Thumm is available for $136 from Pana Objects online.

Photos by Nara Shin

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world
Loading More...