• S O U N D : C R E A T E / E S C A P E

    Community, Industrial Design


    In the next seven months I intend to become very knowledgeable about sound absorbing materials, and technical procedures for reducing sound pollution. Living in New York City it is impossible to escape sound. It is everywhere, what we do not realize is its negative effects on the body and the mind.
    There are two kinds of sound users, the ones who wish to escape sound, and those that wish to create it. I find myself as a drummer and a student in both categories, I need to create sound while playing my instrument, but I also seek refuge from sound in school and at home in order to think clearly, and develop productive flow states.
    My focus during this project will be to identify the needs of specific users, starting with Musicians from New School’s Jazz Department; I will learn their practice habits, and their specific sound needs, whether as creator, or escapist. I will also target my research with New School Psychology students to dive deep into the psychology of sound, and how serenity can be achieved through a designed sound intervention.
    By creating a family of forms which speak to different sound absorbing needs in the home, at school, the office, the factory, etc. I hope to increase quality of life by enabling both the creator and the escapist.

    Key Research Findings:

    • Sound is like water it will find its way through any crack in a floor or ceiling flowing into adjacent rooms.
    • Sound travels through structural elements, a piece of hardwood that connects two apartments can transmit sound very effectively.
    • Noise sources are infinite, nearby restaurants and bars, children on uncarpeted floors, neighbors moving furniture, barking dogs, mechanical noise including hammering, drilling, elevator motors, roof-mounted fans, basement furnaces, banging radiator pipes, a treadmill, garbage trucks, ad infinitum. -A noise ordinance can range from $250 for a first time offense to $15,000 or more for recurring problems.
    • For Landlords and Agents dealing with noise complaints standard answers include: “There is nothing we can do about noise before 10 P.M. that is the law.” “There is nothing we can do about noise after 10 P.M. We are not there.”
    • “Noise is the most common quality of life complaint we get,” Charles Sturcken, then the chief of staff for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, said in a June 2002 interview for the New York Times.

    Target Audience: Musician, Student, Telecommuter, Entrepreneur, Apartment Renter. Mid- Upper Class

    Age Group: 25-40

    NFP: New School Jazz Department New School Psychology Department


    In New York City sound is a factor in quality of life. Sound can be a tool for productivity, or a destructor. Sound can be seen as a material, it is felt on the body using our sense of hearing as well as touch because sound waves physically touch your body and affect your brainwaves. The question of overstimulation and the idea of slow space, begs whether we have enough sanctuary as an involuntary audience to sound. How much control do we have over sound? And what control does it have over us?

    Cost/ Marketing Techniques: -Consultation basis, pinpointing isolation needs. -Products may be ordered online, they can be customized to fit user’s idiosyncrasies. -Consultation to verify therapeutic needs.

    • Products can be designed in a 3D virtual environment online, with modular elements.
    • If Sound trends prove consistent a formal design language may evolve to encompass various user scenarios.

    Evaluation/Prototype Testing:

    Full scale 3-D mock-ups will be made to explore form, function, and modularity. Designed sound interventions can become part of an expansive system which thrives on locating consensus on sound issues.
    Problem solving sound reduction, space constraints, and sensuality of material, shape, ease of use, practicality and necessity will all be evaluated. -Document users making sound in a series of performed scenarios. -Analyze the efficiency of use, and sound absorption. -Consider Permanence, and Temporality of structures.

    Materials: Materials which create a sense of comfort and serenity. Low Tech Material Hi – Tech material Hybrids Various grades of industrial felt Egg crate sound isolation foams soft, structural, flexible, moldable, pliable, bendable

    Production processes: -Felt molding -Resin Dipping -Fiberglass molding

    • Sewn -Glued -Laser cutting -Silk screening

    Packaging/Distribution method: Depending on scale packaging will either be necessary as for small items, or less important as for larger furniture like objects. Distribution channels may include: MOMA Design Store, Design Within Reach, Ikea, Target.

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