Curious Trends


Light and sound immersive experiences

No longer are music and light shows confined to the discotheque. Hotels, restaurants - and, increasingly, private homes are using computer generated music and lighting effects to create a ‘designer’ ambiance. Meantime, forward thinking designers are using eco-friendly energy sources, such as solar power, to provide a carbon positive communal light and sound experience.

Developed in conjunction with Architettura Sonora and Marco Barotti, Plastique Fantastique’s The Emotion Maker is a music and architecture soundscape that’s based upon music played by 100 different musicians’ interpretations of various emotions. Individuals go into the balloon-like, tented structure two at a time (like animals into Noah's Ark) – to experience their personal mix of music from the various instrumentalists involved in the project. Every piece lasts ten minutes and is as randomly unique as any choice made by two individuals, offered a multiplicity of variables to choose from. The project centres upon the communal experience of two people together inside the space. On my visit to the Emotion Maker at Clerkenwell Design Week, I was accompanied by Signe from Denmark:

Also at Clerkenwell Design Week was The Aker Collective’s musical chairs installation. When sat upon, the rudimentary wooden chairs play individual parts in a musical compostion.

Danish Soft Cells has linked up with Dutch Royal Philips Electronics to create ‘mood wall’ coverings that can absorb sound and emit light. The curiously innovative new fabric is described in this video clip.

In a previous post I flagged up communal music created by nature. Musician Craig Colorusso had always been fascinated by the way light and sound alter the way we perceive time and space. Last November in Western Massachusetts he presented his solar powered sound installation, Sun Boxes, comprised of twenty independently operating solar powered speakers. Inside each Sun Box is a PC board that has a recorded guitar note loaded and programmed to play continuously in a loop. The guitar note collectively make a Bb chord. Because the loops differ in length, once the piece beings they continually overlap and the piece slobwly evolves over time. Participants are encouraged to walk amongst the speakers and surround themselves in sound. Since the amount of sunlight varies from day to day, so does the composition of the Sun Boxes.

Dornbracht have reinvented the shower as an immersive experience of water choreographies and orchestrated lighting. Their Ambiance Tuning Technique imagines the shower as ‘a space of transformation. An energetic recovery system for your body, your mind and your soul.’ The unique water experience combines ‘aesthetic architecture, minimalist design and innovative control technology.’

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