Sound is one of the most important senses, but when offered the choice to be blind or deaf, people are quick to abandon sound in favor of sight. Though usually considered secondary to vision, sound has more power than people give it credit. Sound provides a myriad of important influences that people take for granted, and this project aims to highlight the beauty of sound and space. The design’s reaction to sound alters the space around the participant(s), encouraging communication and experimentation, opening their eyes to the subtleties of space and sound. The wall acts as a physical representation of the sound within, so the viewer can determine the atmosphere by reading the structure and acting accordingly.
This idea evolved over time into an interactive structure but it started with wanting to capture music to a surface. The height of the waves generated would influence the space within the structure (larger waves create an expanded, public space, and smaller waves make a contracted, private space). Trying to achieve this goal, I researched possible ways to create a 3D visualizer in Grasshopper, so I could manipulate it as I please. From there I came across Karthik Dondeti’s yet another script… blog, Karthik used vvvv and Grasshopper to make a surface move in real time to audio. After asking him countless questions on how to achieve this, he recommended Millipede and Firefly plug-ins for Grasshopper to get my results. With Firefly and Millipede, I wrote a script modeling a surface populated with boxes that extruded based on z values of sound captured with a microphone. Finally, I decided to have it become an interactive wall which responded to sound. My vision for the project is to have the mechanics of the structure (which extends individual blocks) be visible by replacing the back with a translucent facade, providing an aesthetic view for individuals on either side of the wall. This form could also be used as a tile for larger structures; a paused form could be a static kinetic sculpture, etc. The possibilities are unlimited.
Status: School Project
Location: Cincinnati, OH, US