I met up with him on the second day of my tour at Sonus Faber. He was wearing a long-sleeve shirt and vest even though it was the summertime, Ray-Ban sunglasses the moment we went outside, and lace-up dress shoes without laces, as if they were loafers. Italians seem genetically infused with a strong sense of personal style that most North Americans woefully lack, yet he seemed more infused than most.
His workspace is also distinctive. He has a mouse pad shaped like an elephant and he works in a modern-looking design studio with bright white and red walls. There’s also a pool table in the back of the studio, as well as a neon sign along a main wall that says, “Replace fear for the unknown with curiosity.” The studio is owned by Fine Sounds Group, which is the umbrella organization that the Sonus Faber, McIntosh, Audio Research, and Wadia brands belong to. It’s there that he’s helping to create some of the most fascinating loudspeaker and electronic designs of the last 30 years. He’s 33-year-old Livio Cucuzza, an Italian industrial designer who has a style all his own, and who is also bringing a keen sense of style to the hi-fi industry, in turn revitalizing the companies he works for with unique product designs quite unlike anything anyone’s ever seen.
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