Client: ECUAD + University of Oregon
This project was done in collaboration with Brian Campbell, Bevan Waite, and Zeta Nicole.
Sonotune is a modular acoustic wall panel that was capable of transforming the sound properties of a wall from reflective to absorbent. This would allow for a concert hall to be easily tuned due to the percentage of open to closed petals, it could change the entire acoustic properties of a space.
Not only did we want it to be functional, but we wanted to mimic patterns in nature such as the petal pattern, honeycomb tessellation, and flocking movement. We feel that it would provide a beautiful opening signifier that the show is starting, and would captivate an audience.
The process began with rapid ideation through sketching and gesturing with our hands to translate ideas. After 2 weeks, we gathered our 3 main areas of interest and created a project proposal to send to Turner Exhibits, a company specializing in engineering and manufacturing custom kinetic installations into spaces.
Through the meeting we had with them we realized that the organic nature of one of our ideas was promising. Specifically, the ability to translate a small travel distance into a large amount of movement. We then confirmed our speculations on materials by meeting with Bing Thom Architects, they faced similar acoustic challenges when building UBC’s Chan Centre.
Our design utilizes a single downward force with a cam system to translate that single movement into 2 progressive actions such as a flower blooming. The percentage of open to closed pedals allows you to tune a space depending on the circumstances required. The flocking action is algorithmic and programmed to carry out an infinite number of movements.
We created our prototype on Solidworks and troubleshooted many of the issues on the software. The files were sent to a CNC where the petals and hardware was cut, we used reclaimed plastic from a local manufacturer for petals.
The outside was surfaced with veneer to resemble a wooden construction.