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Everyday Experiments

Everyday Experiments

How will tomorrow’s technologies redefine the way we live at home?

Themes

Through a range of experiments in a set of unique themes, we explore ways to enhance our interactions with space and improve our everyday lives.

Explore Theme

Privacy + Trust

Challenging the way we think about safety and security at home.

4 New Experiments

Explore Theme

Play + Learn

Transforming the home into a playground for creativity and learning.

Explore Theme

Design + Organize

Finding novel ways to make the most out of what we already have.

Sound Bubbles

Spatial audio
IoT

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What if you could use sound to create silence?

Built by — Yuri Suzuki

Yuri Suzuki is an experience and sound designer who works at the intersection of installation, interaction and product design. He joined Pentagram as a partner in 2018. His work encompasses sound, music, installations, product design, art direction, education and contemporary art for a range of clients across the world.

Sound Bubbles would allow you to construct silent zones of privacy within the home using spatial audio. Now, more than ever, we find ourselves using the home for a myriad of activities. A living room becomes an office; a kitchen becomes a call centre. Such a constant presence of activity challenges our sense of privacy, not only regarding personal space but also sound. 

'Although humans have an innate ability to screen out specific sounds or frequencies, we face an increasing number of daily sound pollutants as well as a growing need for privacy.'

—Yuri Suzuki

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Sound-cancelling technologies (in some form or another) have been available for almost 100 years, often using a process known as 'phase cancellation. This technique takes a sound wave and simply adds its inverse, reducing the sound to near silence in the process. Sound Bubbles pushes this technology to another level. Using a tablet, the experiment would allow you to scan your room and create a zone of localised silence in any given area. 

Working like a microphone, your IoT speakers would recognise the source of all the different sounds around you and simultaneously emit the necessary audio to remove it in the shelter by phase cancellation. The application would also suggest alternative placements of your speakers in the room to achieve maximum effect. An additional background layer of white noise (think television static or a boiling kettle) could help to mask any other remaining sound.

'We can hear it, and we can feel it, but we can't actually see sound. In terms of the design, the challenge lay in creating shapes, materiality and movements that turn sound into something tangible.'

—Yuri Suzuki

Even though total silence is challenging to achieve, this application would create a close-to-silence effect, using multiple speakers within the space to allow for spatially accurate results. Such an outcome would be much more pleasing and effective than total silence, as we rarely ever naturally experience complete silence. 

'The tension between transparency and security is at the heart of the experiment, something which has formed the basis of our visual aesthetic – a transparent bubble that engulfs and deflects unwanted sounds.'

—Yuri Suzuki

In order to create the most effective shelter, an in-app visualiser would provide visual feedback, using the colour, density and frequency of coloured bubbles to express the characteristics of a sound source. For instance, a conference call on a laptop (high frequency) would appear as busy tiny bubbles, while background traffic (lower frequency) would move more sluggishly. By depicting sound sources and levels in this way, Sound Bubbles’ visual language would allow you to observe silence – something which can't usually be seen.

Audio Prototype Production by Counterpoint

Samuel Diggins + Tero Parviainen

3D Motion Design

Marie Dommenget

Team Suzuki

Maxwell Sterling + Gabriel Vergara II
+ Jake Richardson + Marisol Ambriz

Everyday Experiments is a project by SPACE10 & IKEA.

Next
Experiment

See Through the Eyes of a Computer

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Everyday Experiments

Everyday Experiments

How will tomorrow’s technologies redefine the way we live at home?

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