Prismatk Headphones by Olavo Monken

The idea behind the name Prismatk Headphones was to convey how many possibilities could emerge from one product system. Just as a Prism brings all the colors out of light prismatk brings many possible combinations on a custom headphone. Read on and enjoy!

Prismatk begun as my graduation project at School of Design from the State university of Minas Gerais. I knew for a long time already I wanted to design something I could actually construct and push forward as a personal product, not just a concept, I wanted to materialize my project into the final product.

– Olavo Monken



I love music, I listen to it 24/7, and I am constantly looking for new songs and new bands, from a very broad range of styles. I love making things, thinking them through and actually getting my hands on the materials and putting it together. While I was at my exchange year in Ottawa, Canada while working on an assignment my headphone cable broke inside it. I wouldn’t lose a pair just because of a simple wiring job. So I got some supplies and opened them. Then it struck me: Hey, with the right parts I can make this! So I knew immediately what kind of product I wanted to develop.

– Olavo Monken




It took about 1 year and many prototypes to develop the current version. I had to experiment with different materials, manufacturing processes and technical solutions. The conceptual phase was very long as well since I wanted it to be well synced with a viable small scale business model. I wanted people to connect to the idea behind it and to the way it is handmade.

– Olavo Monken



Personally I used a lot of handsketching, Solidworks and keyshot for the virtualization, basic woodshop gear for manufacturing, But I had to have some parts CNC and water cut.To reach the final design I elected 5 very different bands and mapped their visual universe. I developd several designs inspired on each of these bands and starting merging elements from those many sketches. I made it this way so that the final design could stay true to the target group: Eclectic people who do not limit themselves to a single preconceived visual universe.

– Olavo Monken




I’ve had some challenges such as designing something I could actually manufacture; developing a way to pass copper wires inside a 2mm tick wooden headband (that was the hardest one), contacting suppliers at china. Creating an stable and repeatable handcrafting technique to produce the wooden headbands with precision and consistent quality. Discovering a type of wood that would be strong enough yet easy to shape. Finding high quality sound drives available at small amounts. I would say I’ve done a minimum of 15 revisions for this artwork.

– Olavo Monken



About Olavo Monken

Olavo Monken is a product designer from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He has been working with product development from three years now, and he has designed a broad range of things, from medical products, to gem cutting tables and children related consumer products. He is an explorer at heart, and a very eclectic person who enjoys reading, online gaming, longboarding and making things himself. You can find more of his works on his Behance profile or website.