Thunder Panels

As we plunge into the twenty-first century, with all the paradigm shifting that brings, we here at JOHNHOUSHMAND have been planting seeds of a new vision that are about to germinate. Collaborating with artist/designer Ed Potokar, John and Ed have created SOUNDWALL, a quest into the world of sonic architecture. Buildings, walls, rooms all have a missing dimension and that is the world of sound. We are launching a new company that takes on commissions to develop features for the built spaces we inhabit that have sonic capabilities. Walls that listen to you and play your words or footsteps back, seating that gives you the ability to play sounds with those sitting nearby, rooms that have features that allow you to create sounds or listen to sounds, and more. Public spaces, lobbies, walkways, stairways and all manner of architectural spaces have the ability to enchant, enhance, and interact with your personal experience and we have created a number of ways to deliver this dimension. Some are analog: old fashioned assemblies that can be touched, stroked, or thrummed. Some are digital: with controllers that are touch sensitive or even-triggered. All have the same common ground: to give a person the added dimension of sound as they experience the world we live in.

The delivery systems are countless, the sonic content is endless, and the idea is to begin to operate within a dimension that has been so absent in architecture. While walking through the ruins of Pompeii it is the rustling of the wind in the surrounding pines that give the sense of lost time. Plainsong chant coming from the halls of a cathedral in southern France make the experience whole. From the dignified to the comedic, from environmental to interactive, sound design has a place in our environment not only as an organic emergent such as these examples but as a created designed component of a project.

With Ed Potokar and his SOUNDWALL exhibition in January at the JOHNHOUSHMAND Projects space we are presenting a gathering together of pieces that have as their main focus the act of inspiring architects and designers, and really anyone, how this dimension can be accessed, designed into structure, and made to sing.

Good, better, best. Never let it rest.

(Photos by Levi Brown)