Thursday, May 22, 2008

Acoustic Installation in the College of Architecture’s Library

This is a installation that Adam Riddle, Whitney Parks, Nate Steuerwald, & Myself (Britton Chambers) worked on during our second year of graduate school at the University of Minnesota.

The project was create a physical installation that solves certain building issues such as glare, poor acoustics, spatial storage, et cetera; while using the ideas and principles found in bio-inspired design.


Existing Condition

With Installation


Under these parameters, we were given the design challenge of deadening a large reverberate space within our colleges library. We spent nearly a month researching biological and natural elements that reduced noise. After careful examination we all decided upon the natural acoustic properties of snow.

While looking at the acoustic qualities of snow we came up with certain principles and design guidelines that are analogous to the experience of a snowy winter day. Being that we are all from Minnesota, we had a certain connection or affinity with the silence of a winter and we sought to replicate that in the built environment.

Our installation was constructed out of dozens of interactive hung objects that were made up of a cellular material that had small hairs that vibrated when hit by sound waves. These small hairs would stop the sound waves by dissipating them into heat.


Electron Microscope Image of the Ridges and Groves of a Snowflake

Stationary Panel Design

Transformable Panel Design (closed)

Transformable Panel Design (open)

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