17 Oct 2018 • Peter Maxwell
Sonos and Frame explore how sound can evoke memories of home at DDW 2018
During Dutch Design Week 2018 Sonos and Frame are partnering to offer visitors a refuge from the sensory overload of the city. Space Here Becomes Sound, created in partnership with Studio Lonk, will explore the intimate relationship between sound, colour and our emotional connection to the home. Visitors will have the opportunity to create their own sound memories and build a unique composition that evokes their personal recollections of feeling at home.
We spoke to Studio Lonk about the project, how they drew inspiration from the HAY Sonos One Limited Edition Collection and why they think designers need to reconsider the value of sound in spatial design.
What is the concept behind the installation?
CELINE DE WAAL MALEFIJT: Space Here Becomes Sound acts as a minimal representation of the home. It consists of a series of frames that are each connected to a sound that suggests a particular domestic memory. As you adjust each frame, the soundscape created by the Sonos One speakers that line the installation shifts focus. In total the experience is supposed to recreate the sense of walking through the hallways of a house and peering into various rooms.
The experience is supposed to recreate the sense of walking through the hallways of a house
Why do you think the notion of what constitutes ‘home’ is so important today?
With today’s nomadic lifestyles we spend less and less time in our own homes, so I think it’s true that many people feel less sure of what the concept of home now means and are looking for ways to connect back to a previous ideal. This is one of the reasons that lots of different spatial typologies, from airport lounges to hotel lobbies to office spaces, are increasingly borrowing design cues drawn from domestic design. We still clearly value these memories and are eager for new ways to reconnect.
How did you choose the sound palettes associated with each frame?
We collaborated with a specialist sound designer and artist called Mark IJzerman. The start of the process involved looking back at the descriptions of the colours provided by HAY to gain inspiration. For each we selected a mix of sound types, from instrumental to recordings of everyday events such as running a bath or working in the kitchen. We wanted to create an ambience that really peaked the audience’s emotional connection to the homes that they’ve lived in.
Sound is one of our strongest senses, so powerful at evoking memories and moods
Do you think sound is an under-utilised medium when it comes to thinking about home design?
It certainly doesn’t get enough attention. As interior architects, the number of times we use sound as a starting point rather than colour or material or composition is too rare. But sound is one of our strongest senses, so powerful at evoking memories and moods. It can be a really influential basis to think about spatial design.
Was the concept of synesthesia and how to design across the senses something you took into account?
I’m a great believer in the concept, and I think it can lead to far richer experiences for the end users if the designer thinks of the senses from a holistic standpoint. In our previous work, colour has always been a very present element, and thinking about how sound and colour can affect human behaviour. We think of ourselves not only as designers but also social researchers, and that’s one of the things that’s made this project really interesting: How can something so visually minimalist connect with sound design to evoke a highly nuanced experience of the home?
The idea of what constitutes ‘home' is not just connected to space but to sound and memories
What do you hope visitors take away from the installation?
That they are taking the feeling of home with them. That the idea of what constitutes ‘home' is not just connected to space but to sound and memories. We don’t always need to revert to enveloping ourselves in more stuff, but should think about other means to provoke meaningful experiences that can exist beyond the material world.
Exploring the relationship between sound and home design, Sonos and Danish furnishings brand HAY have reimagined Sonos One in five colours derived from HAY’s 2018 palette. This limited edition collection celebrates the brands’ shared values of accessible design, innovative manufacturing techniques and the transformative power of products in the home.