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Brief Published: 1 May 2018

Milan Design Week 2018: Sound-Generating Glass

Soundscape at Milan Design Week

A new glass which generates sound – created by Japanese glass technology firm AGC Asahi Glass – was among the host of material innovations unveiled at Milan Design Week 2018. An ethereal soundscape designed in collaboration with Japanese architect Motosuke Mandai was installed within the vaults of Milan Central Station to showcase the discreet technology.

Laminated within the glass is a layer which counteracts reverberation and allows clear sound with a wide bandwidth to be emitted. Shards of the transparent composite material were suspended throughout the space, with different sounds assigned to each fragment. Distinct, crisp sounds were formulated as visitors moved around the soundscape.

AGC’s ongoing research delves into how we block and generate sound with glass, so that acoustics can be moulded by our built environment. Dual-function materials will allow our future spaces and products to have light and sound incorporated into their very fabric. As technology is absorbed into our walls and ceilings, the shape and format of the products we use will be redefined. 

See our complete coverage of Milan Design Week 2018 for key trends across colour, materials, branded environments, lifestyle and product design. For a complementary aesthetic direction and more on responsive materials, see our Evolving Landscapes report.