Side by Side: Discover the Common Ground Between Sound and Design at the Design Museum of Chicago

“All Together Now: Sound × Design”, courtesy of the Design Museum of Chicago

Isn’t a book or a publication as tied to time and sequence as a symphony in three movements? Doesn’t a duet between voice and piano contain two distinct colors which, when combined, create an entirely new hue? The Design Museum of Chicago poses interesting questions that push the viewer to explore the connections between music and design, two disciplines rarely brought together, especially in a museum setting. By exploring these intersections, “All Together Now: Sound × Design” offers an audiovisual experience that blurs the lines between the two.

Showcasing artifacts that incorporate or are inspired by music in an abstract way, enable the performance of music on their own (think instrument design), or are used to sell or brand music (like a logo or packaging), “All Together Now” gives twenty-four artists and designers from across the country, each chosen by a blind jury, the opportunity to exhibit works that connect sound and design together and with the world.

In a futuristic-looking open gallery, listening stations are surrounded by two- and three-dimensional artifacts, from digital video projections and audio works to old-school microphones, concert posters, turntables and loudspeakers. speakers. Communicating emotion in an imaginative way, Katherine Steiner’s “Nine People Listening to Ludwig van Beethoven’s Für Elise” features nine graphics, each imitating how each person felt about the music.⁠ Daniel H. Walden visualizes the components for blend and transition into songs in an audio mix in his work, “Prayer to Heaven via 2011”. Rachel Steele’s “Remixing Transit” transports you through a cross-cultural sonic interpretation of a journey, exploring the distinctions between noise, sound and music. Blending field recordings collected from CTA trains, buses and public parks with original musical compositions rooted in jazz, hip-hop, modernized Chinese folk and flamenco traditions, Steele represents the social identity of Chicago neighborhoods (the Loop, Chinatown, Pilsen) traversed on the journey — and poses a playful challenge: will you be able to identify where you are and what type of transportation you’re using based solely on the audio commentary?

Elsewhere, industrial designer Emiliano Godoy, in collaboration with award-winning sound engineer Hans Mues, introduces the Acoustic Wall, a modular system whose size, acoustic performance and lighting capabilities can be configured to suit any architecture and interior design projects of different scales and styles. . This literal wall of light and sound goes beyond the manipulation of space through sound, light and design – it becomes a color-shifting installation. Light reflects off strips of solid glass sound diffusers with padded foam strips that act for sound absorption. As its intensity and color temperature change, so does the world as you experience it. Soon you realize that the parallels between sound and design are countless, and “All Together Now:” only scratches the surface.

Opening during the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Music (2021), a citywide initiative that celebrates music and the vital role it has always played in Chicago’s creative culture,” All Together Now: Sound × Design”, seeks to create a sensory experience where art, design and music become one and traditional boundaries are non-existent. By connecting the physical, digital and emotional world, it offers a new way to experience sound design – and design itself, a deeper understanding of what we see, hear and touch, and, perhaps most importantly , a new ground on which to connect.

Until April 3, Design Museum of Chicago, Expo 72, 72 East Randolph.

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