Uncovering the Details: Q&A with David Farrage, Industrial Designer of the PULSE M

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David Farrage

Meet David Farrage, the face behind the industrial design of Bluesound’s new PULSE M speaker and several other Bluesound products.

Before making his way to a full-time industrial design career, Farrage found himself caught up in the thrill of sketching prototypes on paper at an early age. It wasn’t until a high school art teacher acknowledged his passion and encouraged him to pursue further education in industrial design that Farrage realized – more could be made out of his inexorable tinkering with pen, paper and prototyping.

Now with 30 years of global experience, Farrage runs his own design firm; DF-ID, where he leads a diverse team working across many disciplines to transform great ideas into great products.

Bluesound’s latest PULSE M speaker delivers a unique off-axis listening experience by virtue of an omni-hybrid driver array situated in a sleek and compact form factor. In this interview, we are joined by David Farrage to discuss how he worked with Bluesound’s engineering team to marry form with function in the creation of the PULSE M:

Bluesound: How was the PULSE M’s industrial design influenced/inspired by its unique omni hybrid driver array?

David Farrage: The unique omni-hybrid driver array was originally placed parallel to the ground, but a 5.25 inch woofer, although powerful, is a large component for a tabletop speaker. By angling the woofer at 25˚ together with the custom deflector, we reduced the footprint about 1” front to back. By virtue of this geometry, the PULSE M obtained its pure elliptical form factor.

The form therefore is derived by the functional positioning of the driver which also benefits the PULSE M’s acoustic soundstage. Angled at 45˚ from one another and perpendicular to the elliptical surface is a pair of tweeters complementing the delivery of the expansive soundstage to all corners of the living space. The elliptical form expresses the omni-directional sound that emits from the PULSE M.

“The driver complement is really looking at lifestyle of the end user. Not
everybody has the quality time to sit down and watch a movie or listen to a
beautiful sound. People are dynamically moving around their space.”

– David Farrage, Industrial Designer

Bluesound: Can you speak about the cloth grille and its benefits?

David Farrage: The PULSE M’s seamless cloth grille features a unique hexagonal weave and four-way stretch which was custom manufactured to provide both structure and stretch, while also protecting the drivers from airborne particulate. The grille is infrared transparent and visually transparent, allowing the status LED indicator to be seen through it. In addition to these functional features, the cloth grille also contributes to the sleek, seamless aura of the PULSE M.

“The display is really there when you need it and it disappears when you don’t, so it further declutters the design and makes the product feel intelligent.”

– David Farrage, Industrial Designer

PULSE M Design Sketch

Bluesound: What else inspired or challenged you during this process?

David Farrage: When you look at for example a ceramic flower vase or vessel as a home décor element in the home, they blend and don’t call out attention. Although the PULSE M is a very sophisticated wireless streaming speaker, we wanted that same physical presence in the room. We didn’t want the PULSE M to stand out. The functional attributes of the materials employed coupled with the contrasting matte cabinet, woven fabric and glass help the PULSE M to blend and be part of the fabric of the home.

Should the consumer want to wall mount or floor mount the PULSE M on a pedestal we created a convenient, yet unobtrusive threaded insert revealed by removing a rubber plug on the elastomer base to attach to an optional wall bracket or floor pedestal. As a lifestyle product, the PULSE M can easily adapt to how the user intends to use it.

“When it sits on a table or credenza or shelf it just feels like home décor. Simple and harmonious on outside. But meticulously engineered on the inside. ”

– David Farrage, Industrial Designer