Cardboard Radio Tunes In To Responsible Design

© SuckUK

In October, Lloyd took a strong stance on this cardboard radio. We're now looking at another opinion of the same, clearly engaging design.

It was only a matter of time, and clearly that time is now up, because Suck UK (yes, it’s pronounced “suck uck,” so deal with it) has come out with a radio whose shell is made of cardboard. Kind of like the cardboard GreenCase for the MacBook Pro we reported on in February.

We don’t know if it is recycled cardboard or virgin cardboard, but either way its environmental footprint is so tiny we imagine the sound of mice feet tiptoeing through dandelion fluff. No doubt designer Christopher McNicholl hears the same when he nods off to sleep at night. The advert writers, on the other hand, are rolling in purple prose, suggesting manmade Armageddon—an outcome that can only be averted by designing, manufacturing and consuming more responsibly. As Oregon firm Substrata has done with its sustainably-sourced wood cases for the iPad, for example.

Not only is the exterior of the above-mentioned radio almost entirely cardboard, save the two knobs, an aerial and the wiring, but the inside consists of a cardboard panel on which are mounted all the internal gadgets and gewgaws that go to make up a radio. And much as I love the push toward fully recyclable products (which this presumably is) I worry that it’s a radio—precisely the kind of item that is left out on summer nights at barbecues and during pickup baseball and basketball games. In other words, just about the time the heavens let loose with a real gusher.

Perhaps the cardboard has been treated for water resistance? Nothing is said one way or the other. I know I still have two cardboard suitcases that survived WWII, severely dinged up and abraded but still fully usable to carry clothes to and from the cabin (as long as my snooty neighbors aren’t watching). One thing that’s extremely puzzling about Suck UK’s cardboard radio is the electronic device plugged into it. If the cardboard radio is also an electronics charger, why doesn’t it say so?

Tags: Designers | Gadgets