Today we are talking about music, where music and design converge with the creativity, innovation, and craftsmanship typical of Made in Italy. This is the story of Ubaldo Samuelli, a creative craftsman who has established a brand and a product aimed at highlighting the allure and natural essence of music, exploring its potential for modulation and transformation.
Ubaldo's journey traverses Italy, from Como—his hometown—to Bari, the city he adores and resides in, partly due to his close connection with the sea. Ubaldo graduated in 1983 from the State Institute of Art in Bari, specializing in furniture and architecture. He furthered his studies at the Milan Polytechnic, Faculty of Architecture, focusing on industrial design. In his third academic year, circumstances led Ubaldo to leave his studies, but this did not diminish his love and passion for creativity.
The designer has always been captivated by drawing and architecture since childhood. He fondly recalls that Lego bricks, combined with colored pencils, represented the ideal game for him. Ubaldo expresses, "For me, drawing and creativity are true loves. Whenever I draw, I become estranged from the world around me, wandering, exploring, and discovering a world of my own, with the graphite tip of my Faber Castell 4B as the latch." Drawing has played a pivotal role in Ubaldo's life, shaping and defining his professional path, starting as a freelance draftsman collaborating with engineers, architects, and designers to enrich his cultural background on forms, materials, and solutions.
Ubaldo's journey as a self-employed and independent craftsman began in 1996 when he started designing creations, primarily in visual merchandising. He later expanded into the furniture sector, creating transparent plex seats and other accessories. Amid his passions and loves, music emerges as a significant influence, leading to the birth of his brand, Risuona.
Ubaldo explains, "I am a devoted music listener, and while researching loudspeakers online, I noticed a lack of attention to design. Most speakers are parallelepiped in shape, so I decided to create a pair for personal use." Armed with his 4B pencil and a sheet of paper, he initiated the drawing process, resulting in the One_08 series developed with Valerio Maglietta. This paved the way for other uniquely designed loudspeakers, with the goal of creating furniture loudspeakers, as reflected in the sound&design motto: "sound no longer has the same shape."
In 2014, Risuona emerged, representing the culmination of Ubaldo's efforts to unite music and design. He is proud of his product, expressing a genuine fascination toward his creation. Ubaldo shares, "The idea was born almost by chance; browsing the web, I noticed natural wooden speakers amplifying smartphone audio. So, I tried my hand at this, combining sound&design to create a passive speaker with superior sound qualities and aesthetic appeal for use as furniture accessories."
Risuona is a design and sound object that amplifies smartphone audio using the acoustic trumpet principle, functioning like a megaphone or gramophone trumpet. The materials are refined, Made in Italy, comprising a completely handcrafted wooden product where birch plywood plays a crucial role in enhancing sound due to its physical-mechanical characteristics suitable for sound waves and transmission.
Risuona is a captivating and customizable product, offering various colors, finishes, and customizations. It can be placed in different settings, serving as a simple beach accessory (Nano model) or a distinctive piece of furniture (Steve model).
Ubaldo faces daily challenges, and he states, "My daily challenge is to fuel curiosity (which must never die) and, when faced with stimuli, objectively engage with everything that already exists, striving to imbue the idea with uniqueness and character."