Interview with designer Deniz Karasahin (DK), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Calliope Hi-Fi Turntable.

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Interview with Deniz Karasahin at Monday 11th of March 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
DK : The ultimate goal of a hi-fi turn table is to re-create the purest and uncontaminated of sounds; this essence of sound is both the terminus and the concept of this design. As a reference to the purpose of this sound re-creating product, this design is inspired by the sound itself. It is about how sound could be perceived and represented in a 3 dimensional space. Therefore it is inspired by lots of physics specially the graphical representations of how sound travels and how sound behaves. As I learnt more about these products I realized that most of the fascinating technology behind high fidelity was developed in the 50s and the 60s so I used similar design language of that era to signify that this device shares the same technical passion.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
DK : What I wanted to achieve was, a turntable that I would be proud of by just owning one, because it is as abstract and as sophisticated as the music I listen to.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
DK : This design has given birth to it's producer company Calliope Audio where it is also available of purchase.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
DK : Project started on March 2008 at the time it was my graduation project from University. The first prototype was very rough but I was still able to graduate with it. Then some time on mid 2010 I build an improved version of the turntable for myself, keeping in mind that it might turn in to a product one day. After receiving very positive feedbacks from some audio critics I decided to build a final improved version of the turntable on June 2011. Completely redesigning the turntable, making numerous acoustic tests, finding correct components, optimizing quality of the production on numerous workshops in France and Turkey and finally assembling all the pieces together took me more than seventeen months.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
DK : During my final year we were fortunate enough to chose our final projects and hi-fi was one of the subjects that I was looking for an excuse to learn plus the size and the complexity of the project was just ideal that is why I choose this subject. All the inspiration and the concepts fallowed afterwords.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
DK : At the very begging, because it was a school project I had regular feedback from the staff and in time I had feed back from hi-fi experts, mechanical engineers and production specialists.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
DK : Due to the nature of the industry, production volumes and difficulties in production this product is rather on the expensive side and aims for the top market in hi-fi.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
DK : Well I am not going to bore you with all the technicality but in terms of sound quality this is one of the top turntables available. In terms of design (according to my taste) all other turntables available are just soulless machines and when compared, this one is a sculpture.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
DK : That was a difficult task and in fact I couldn't came up with a proper name, a close friend of mine Hakan Cezayirli came up with the name Calliope; she is one of the Angels (Muse) in ancient Greek mythology, she is the bringer / introducer of music and poetry to the human race.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
DK : So many I almost used every thing I know, modeling in Rhino and Solid Works, finite element simulation in Ansys, renders in Maxwell and retouch in Photoshop and Light room.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
DK : During the design phase I read about mechanical vibrations and how the form of an object could affect it's resonance frequencies there for it's sound quality. Although the form of the turntable appears to be just as styling it is an intensely studied form to maximize the sound quality of the product. This fact literally joins form and function in a spiritual manner for this product and my personal favorite aspect about this design.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
DK : This particular design has many aspects in many different fields so I did collaborate with many people such as Professors in the field of mechanical vibrations, mechanical engineers, production specialists and hi-fi gurus.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
DK : Both in production and design stages technology was essential. From the CAD modeling to real life vibration measurements or to CNC milling it would be absolutely impossible without technology.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
DK : Rather than influenced the correct word should be build on. As you know the resonance frequency of an object is related with its form, material and it's contact with the outer world. Using a finite element software we were able to calculate the resonance frequencies of the components we use and modify the form of the object to lower it's resonance frequencies. We did many form studies and eventually backed up this data with real life measurements.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
DK : The production was very difficult achieving proper high quality finishes was so difficult particularly on just one prototype.