In 2019, Tom Rossau unexpectedly for those who know his work superficially, received a prestigious Danish Design Award for a device that helps prevent heart failure. In collaboration with the progressive leader of international startups Yan Nielsen, Rossau designed The Orb. This is a smart speaker, but not an ordinary one. This device uses life-saving AI technology as a support tool for emergency dispatchers. And it’s also good from an aesthetic point.
“This is technology that works for humans, not the other way around. It supports emergency dispatchers to make better decisions in their work and demonstrates a very high level of innovation in the field of AI. It is far more than a smart speaker. The design has a human aspect and works in a non-intrusive way. We will see many more instances of this technology and this solution shows the potential of design to work with artificial intelligence”.
Tom Rossau about design
“The design process is actually quite selfish – I do for the kick that it gives me. It’s quite a thrill to get an idea out of the blue, to work with it, to get caught up in it, to be totally consumed by the details from the early drawings over prototypes and on to production.
Then there’s the magic experience when the material intended to do one prototype reveals unintended characteristics and all there is to do is to dive right in and explore these new possibilities. Inspiration comes from all around, but the process of working out the limits and potential of various materials can be very interesting.
At times it would be more appropriate to refer to the material as the designer and I the mere help, fetching screws and fastening lose ends. With functionality, sustainability, and energy consumption as obvious issues of all design, it becomes an even more intriguing task to meet the demands of the end consumer.
All in all I’m a firm believer in coincidence and enhancement of the element of play in all design”.