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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Sound & Sensing

Sound & Sensing
  • On April 25, 2015

The 21st century has begun with an explosion of new tools, technologies and methods, as well as a mounting catalogue of challenges facing the designer. (Sheil, B.,2014)

The development of sensing technologies and computation provides designers and architects with many choices when building spaces and installations. Some sensing tech can feel the physical change of the external environment then convert that into electronic signal, some can locate the position of moving objects. I share two interesting projects here about how designers play with sound by using different kinds of sensors.

Lady’s Glove (Laetitia Sonami)

‘ Lady’s glove ‘ which was first created in the 1991. This fifth also lasted vision which has an extremely dexterous system, with bend sensors to measure the inclination of both finger joints for the middle 3 fingers, micros witches at the end of the fingers for tactile control, Hall sensors to measure distance of the fingers from a magnet in the thumb, pressure sensing between index finger and thumb, and sonar ranging to emitters in the belt, shoe, or opposite arm.


Perfomance with the glove (version5)


Perfomance with the glove (version5)


      This video shows excerpts of Laetitia Sonami performing with this system.

An instrument for the sonification of everything (Dennis P Paul)

‘An instrument for the sonification of everything’ was built in 2012.

The aiming of Dennis was making an instrument is a mixture of practice, anticipation, and serendipity.

With the instrument,the surface of every things are repeatedly scanned and transformed in to audible frequencies. Their silhouettes define loops, melodies and rhythms. Thus mundane things are reinterpreted as musical notation.


Scan the Logo bricks



Scan the clown toy


The scanning part has a high precision distance measuring laser equipment inside.A custom programmed translator and controller module, written in processing, transforms the measured distance values into audible frequencies, notes, and scales. It also precisely controls the stepper-motor’s speed to sync with other instruments and musicians.

High precision distance measuring laser equipment

High precision distance measuring laser equipment


Installation structure

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