Kintsugi is a Japanese art form celebrating the imperfection of broken objects. I’ve seen photos of various pieces of pottery that have these beautiful golden repair jobs, but I’ve never seen a piece of technology embrace it until now.
The Teno is a Red Dot design winner that combines a speaker, lamp, and Kinsugi style into a single unique product. I had no idea what this box was when it arrived (they sent it to me seemingly randomly), but I did like the unboxing experience.
I mean, just look at that presentation. The box folds down in half, revealing the product proudly displayed on a little pedestal.
The object itself is a simple bowl shape, with its characteristic golden crack flowing through the entire body. It’s such a simple and minimalist design, but the crack provides enough affordance to make you want to pull it apart as soon as it’s in your hands.
When you start to open it up, the true magic of the product slowly reveals itself with a soft yellow glow. This is by far the most unique piece of lighting in our home, and I wish I could have it on display like this full-time.
But that’s where this product feels like it starts to lose its identity a little bit. Instead of focusing on this beautiful light, they’ve instead opted to include a bluetooth speaker inside as well.
Unfortunately, the speaker just doesn’t sound that great, and I have yet to connect my phone to it outside of the first time when I was trying it out.
Just like the Magic Mouse, you’ll have to flip the Teno over to give it a full charge. I’m very happy they included this flat charging cable, because it’ll allow you to plug it in and use it as a lamp all the time if needed.
Overall, I think this is one of the most delightful little objects I’ve played with in a long time.
For the price point of $350, I do wish they would have leaned into the simplicity of the object being a light, rather than adding all the speaker and bluetooth tech inside as well.
As a bonus, I think the addition of a simple charging baseplate like the Casper Glow lights could provide an elegant charging solution while keeping the minimal aesthetics intact.
Still, it's an object I'm proud to have on display, and whenever someone asks what is, I always get a kick out of them using it for the first time. It still is a red dot design award winner after all.