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Visit the Sonic Playground this summer

16/07/18

This summer the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, plays host to a new interactive exhibit by acclaimed designer Yuri Suzuki. Sonic Playground, a colourful series of sculptures, invites young and old to experience sound in a new and engaging way. The project is the first time the museum has explored ‘audible play’.

YSDS sound sculpture. Image by Michael McKelvey.

“Sonic Playground is a sound installation that explores methods of communication using sounds or noises created by the visitors,” explains Gabriel Vergara II of Yuri Suzuki Design Studio. “It was great to see children interacting with the sculptures without reading any instructions; they immediately understand the visual language of the horns being a speaking and listening device.”

Yuri Suzuki Design Studio works predominantly in the world of music and technology specialising in concept design, artistic direction, and installation of interactive exhibits and bespoke musical instruments.

“This fast, fun project really allowed us to flex our project management and acoustic muscles in a new way .”

Liz Blessing, Charcoalblue Consultant

Liz takes measurements at Gizmo's studio in San Francisco.

Liz takes measurements at Gizmo's studio in San Francisco.

Liz assists with the installation of the sound sculptures.

Early concept render of the project by YSDS.

Working with Yuri Suzuki Design Studio, Charcoalblue provided acoustic consultancy and project management for the exhibit. Senior Consultant Luca Dellatorre began by analysing the sculpture design to make sure they would perform as expected acoustically. The horns have been designed to capture sound from one end and to project the sound through the other end. The size of the pipes has been chosen to maximise sound transmission, in particular for speech frequencies. The mathematical pure forms, sometimes with a double curvature, that were initially proposed evolved so that sculptures could be fabricated using flat sheets of metal. The optimisation of the faceted version was very important to be able to maintain the same acoustic performance.

“It was great to see children interacting with the sculptures without reading any instructions; they immediately understand the visual language of the horns being a speaking and listening device.”

Gabriel Vergara II, Yuri Suzuki Design Studio

YSDS sound sculpture. Image by Michael McKelvey.

The courtyard of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Image by Michael McKelvey

Image by Michael McKelvey

Charcoalblue supervised the bid process for fabricators, and helped YSDS appoint Gizmo, a San Francisco based art fabricator, and managed the coordination of the build and installation between YSDS, Gizmo and the High Museum.

“Working alongside Liz and Jerad in New York and Luca in London has been an absolute pleasure. They helped us realise our Sonic Playground installation at the High Museum of Art. …Charcoalblue facilitated a streamlined communication platform between all of us,” remarks Vergara, “we couldn’t have done this project without Charcoalblue.”

“Collaborating with creative professionals located in four major cities, distributed across three time zones on Yuri Suzuki’s Sonic Playground was a refreshing challenge,” said Charcoalblue Consultant Liz Blessing. “This fast, fun project really allowed us to flex our project management and acoustic muscles in a new way and as an added bonus we were able to see the end result of our efforts in just four months!”

The Sonic Playground is open at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta until October.

This acoustic render illustrates how the sound disperses on the receiving end.

Testing, testing, 1, 2

Each element of the design of the horn has been considered to achieve a flawless acoustic performance. Crafted from welded steel, the fluted shape of each horn has been optimised to act as both an input and an output. Reducing resonation was a key concern so the pipes have been carefully manufactured to ensure a smooth finish to maintain the efficiency of the sound propagation and reduce absorption. This acoustic render illustrates how the sound disperses on the receiving end.

Freya Martin

For press and media enquiries, speak to Freya

+44 (0)117 325 9280

Freya Martin

For press and media enquiries, speak to Freya

Contact Freya

+44 (0)117 325 9280