The Mass Made Soul Manifesto

We are for products that:

Have mass, heft, sculptural form, movement...and aren't just static black glass slates.

Embody the soul and intent of the designer that created them.

Provide fascination, inspiration and joy for years.

In a world where technological products tend toward either the minimal and sterile or the self-consciously baroque, Mass Made Soul is devoted to products that exhibit lively characters (without being kitschy one-liners), and which reward repeated viewing, touching, providing pleasure and little surprises over long periods of time.

Our focus is on true mass-manufactured products, not one-off or art pieces, or very low volume or hand-made products. 

Finding the Soul

Much of what we feature is now considered "vintage" - from the 1960's and 70's - as that is the richest period for soulful design. But some are more modern - we don't want to make it seem as though soul has been squeezed out of contemporary products and design entirely. Some of the products will be quite well known (at least to design aficionados), while others will be more obscure. We relish finding the lesser-known or under-appreciated gems.

Along the way we'll explore what "soul" means for mass produced products: Where does it come from? How does it change over time? 

Capturing the Soul

Most of these products are now hard to find, and certainly extremely rare to come across in daily life. Before they disappear or become too decrepit, they should be documented properly for anyone to enjoy. Mass Made Soul was founded partly out of frustration with how poorly most of these wonderful products were represented on the web: low quality photos, boring studio shots that take the products out of any context and sucked the life and vigor out of them.

This site exists to record them with care and flair. We get in close and find the details and angles that the original designers would have taken the most pride in.


Adam Richardson, Founder

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Adam has wanted to be a designer since he was six years old, when he started designing cars. He received his BFA in industrial design from the California College of the Arts, and has worked at frog design, Sun Microsystems, and run his own consultancy. These days he works primarily in broader user experience design as a product leader at Financial Engines, but he's never lost his love for well-designed hardware. He's also been an avid photographer since high school.

Mass Made Soul is the marriage of his two lifelong passions: great products and great photography.

Want to hire Adam for a photo shoot? Get in touch >

Personal site  |  General Photography Portfolio  |  Twitter


Photo Gear

You would expect that a site dedicated to characterful hardware would take its photos with equally characterful cameras, and you would be right. That's why I (Adam) use gear made by Fujifilm. They are retro in the right way (lots of manual, physical controls), modern where it makes sense (clever viewfinder technologies, great sensors, cutting edge lenses), and are wonderful to hold and use. They are clearly designed by photographers, for photographers, and the passion of the company and its team comes through with every piece of equipment.

Post processing is all done in Lightroom.

I proudly buy from my local friendly photo store, Looking Glass Photo, in Berkeley, California.