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The Brief
Published: 2 Nov 2018

Designer Reimagines Sound as a Tactile Experience

Extra
Echo by Tessa Spierings

At Dutch Design Week 2018, Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Tessa Spierings presented Echo, an interactive piece that recalibrates aural interactions, posing the question: what would it feel like to touch sound?

Spierings’ project invites users to manipulate tones by placing hollow tubes over speakers, then combining them to create layered melodies. The tubes are made out of different materials, such as wood, metal and cloth, creating unique sound qualities. Wood produces a deeper tone, brass makes sound purer, while foam has a muffling effect. Users can merge sounds into new melodies by stacking cylinders on top of each other or moving them between speakers.

As discussed in Sensory Product, reimagining intangible sensations as tactile experiences is key for engaging consumers numbed by digital overload. In Europe, only 13% of marketers use the power of all five sense to design impactful consumer experiences (Freeman, 2018). Projects like Echo demonstrate how brands could unite the senses to form complete, user-friendly and immersive concepts.

Other designers are similarly leading the way in deploying sound as a tool to foster memorable experiences. As noted in our Brief post Museums Explore Sound as Material, cutting-edge aural exhibitions are tracing an emotional link between sound and art. Meanwhile, innovative companies are experimenting with materials that generate their own melodies, such as the new aural glass developed by Japanese firm AGC Inc – read more here

Brands also have an opportunity to create visually immersive soundscapes, as explored in Wieden & Kennedy Use AR to Make Vinyl Records Visual.

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