The Vamp by Paul Cocksedge 20.11.14

Cocksedge Vamp 1

In an effort to reanimate used electronic equipment, the London-based designer has created a Bluetooth device that you can stick onto any old speaker to play music

The London-based designer Paul Cocksedge, who in 2012 made a vinyl speaker for an iPod out of a heated and stretched record, has turned his attention once again to the "nice connection between old music and new".

Best known for his lighting design, which he uses to create magical effects, Cocksedge has invented a Bluetooth device that you can fit to any old speaker to play music. "When I was cycling to work through Hackney, I noticed that people were leaving old speakers out on the street with notes saying, 'PLEASE TAKE ME' and a smiley face. I started to collect them, and soon filled a corner of the studio."

Cocksedge Vamp 2

Cocksedge discovered that 10,000 speakers a month ended up in one of the UK's largest recycling plants. With the invention of the Vamp (a name that plays on its parasitic relationship to the speaker, and the notion of revamping it) he discovered a way to reanimate them. You simply click the wires into the back of his facet-shaped invention, which can be stuck anywhere onto the speaker using a magnet.

"We tried to keep everything really lightweight," he says of the design, "so as to celebrate the speaker, which is the object that completes it. We added a cut to lift it and make it look sort of playful and cheeky, and to differentiate it from the rectangularity of the speaker it sits on."

The Vamp was launched on Kickstarter earlier this year, and Cocksedge raised enough money to go into manufacture within three weeks. "Then the tricky bit began, with multiple trips to Shenzhen to try and keep the industrial design process as simple as possible." As part of his Save a Speaker campaign, which will run at least until Christmas, Cocksedge is selling the Vamp direct from his studio (for £49.99), supplying a free speaker with every one at no extra delivery cost.

"We've got all these old speakers turning up to the studio," he says. "And we're dusting them off and sending them out. It's really wonderful – usually electronics are really samey, but this has got more texture to it. Customers receive these boxes, full of musical history, and there's an element of surprise too, as they don't know what speaker they'll get."

"But," he adds. "What I really want people to do is question the idea of electronic waste."

For more information, and to buy one visit



Christopher Turner


Images: Mark Cocksedge

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Usually electronics are really samey, but this has got more texture to it

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