Tunable Sound Cloud
Beyond acoustics in music performance halls; a responsive sound system for architecture.
My research on Music+Architecture started in 2003 with Professor Gulzar Haider at Carleton School of Architecture. Since then I have been meandering between the two arts/sciences [debatable.] This 6 year search has resulted in a number of art pieces, installations and architectural projects that I will try to dig out and add to this blog as I go. During these years I have learned/worked/collaborated with many different artists,professors, students. hopefully I will get chance to mention their contributions when I talk more about the projects.
It is my goal to keep this research as collaborative as possible and make it a platform for open-source architecture.
In one paragraph:
The Tunable Sound Cloud is a proposal for a layered three dimensional dynamic spaceframe that adjusts to it’s environment with linear actuators driven by micro-controllers. The self-supporting structure, being a ceiling application, is made of an array of triangulated modules that are hinged to one another and folds on itself.The responsive surface layer, actuated with memory alloy wires (muscle wires) will control the apertures of the surface to adjust sound reflection or sound absorption to enhance the acoustic performance of the space.
Looking at music in different time periods, from dark ages to baroque, high classical era to twenty first century experimental music, there is a relationship between the architecture of spaces music is composed and performed and how the music is written. In today’s modern or trans-modern era we design we design multi-purpose performance halls and spaces that are so generic that could accommodate any music and program.
I will be looking at responsive systems in architecture and music to design a tunable performance space that could be adjusted to meet the absolute sound requirements for a specific sound performance.
Baroque period 1600-1750
Baroque period 1600-1750
- Musicians: Bach,Handel,Vivaldi,…
- Architecture: Gothic architecture
- Reverb 3.0-3.2 sec
- Special characteristics of that era: Unaccompanied music ,Contrasting music and vocals
Classical period 1750-1820
- Musicians: Mozart, Beethoven,Haydn,…
- Architecture: Neoclassical architecture
- Reverb 1.8-2.0
- Special characteristics of that era:More popular- published music as entertainment result change in scale of Venue [architecture],More complexity and layering
Romantic Period 1820-1920
- Musicians: Schubert, Puccini, Wagner,…
- Architecture: Neoclassical +Art Nouveau
- Reverb 1.8-2.2
- Special characteristics of that era: Sound/Acoustical engineering,More color and tone in the music, Wagner designs the 1st opera house for his own performance. 1924 grand opera dies; Turandot, puccini.
Modern and Contemporary
- Musicians: Philip Glass, John Cage, …
- Architecture: Modern architecture
- Reverb: Electronically controlled
- Special characteristics of that era: Music becomes an multimedia performance enhanced by electronic devices.
programmatic topic [the proposal]
This study looks at a dynamic ceiling structure made with two layers:
The structure is based on a series of hinged triangular spaceframes, connected and actuated at the top center of the frame to the adjacent frames.
Preliminary sketch of the structural layer:
Above is a study of the surface movement with Nitinol wires to control the sound behavior for the Tunable Sound Cloud Project.This study is designed as a 10X10 grid of micro responsive modules [10X10mm units] to control the acoustic properties of the surface.
the physical prototype :
below is a study of the system, interfaced through Grasshopper and Rhino modeling platforms, the ceiling structure of the Tunable Sound Cloud is controlled and adjusted to accommodate different acoustical settings.
Actuated with Arduino micro-controller and servo motors.