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Closing the Loop of Sound Evaluation and Design

The CLOSED project is investigating new methods for design of physical interaction with sonically augmented artifacts. Its overarching goal is to create scientific knowledge that can be used to aid the development of new sound design tools based on human perceptual capabilities. In particular, the project is exploring the relationship between physical interaction with an artefact and its continuous sonic response, and the ways in which this relationship can be designed. An interdisciplinary project, CLOSED is being conducted in collaboration with colleagues in auditory psychology at Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique in Paris, in computer science at University of Verona, and in neuroinformatics at the Technical University in Berlin. It is supported by the European Commission’s New and Emergent Science and Technology (FP6) initiative «Measuring the Impossible».

The CLOSED research team at ZHdK is leading interaction design research in the project, based jointly at the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts and the Design Department. The team’s aim is to focus the diverse contributions from psychology, computational sound modeling and machine learning toward the design of sonically augmented products, enabling new opportunities for designing sound for continuous human actions in embodied contexts. By integrating knowledge from scientific and engineering disciplines concerned with sound, the aim is to expand creative and evaluation design methods for tangible sonic interactions.

Ongoing work on the project at ZHdK involves conceiving and developing abstract artifacts that are the focus of experiments in collaboration with our scientific partners, supporting the iterative research loop. In addition, the team has engaged in the exploration of new opportunities for sonic interaction design in existing products and through creation of new, sonically-interactive artefacts. The design processes that have been developed for these artefacts have been developed to account for diverse contextual influences arising from the setting they are designed for (for example, particular domestic scenarios), including relevant social and cultural issues. This process is drawing on modern technologies for design and prototyping, including electronic sensing and actuating, intelligent data processing, interactive sound, 3d modeling and rapid prototyping.

Project leaders: Karmen Franinovic and Yon Visell
Researchers: Daniel Hug and Fabienne Meyer

Project directors: Jill Scott and Jacqueline Otten​

Project duration: 2006-2009

Funding: European Commission 6th Framework, New and Emerging Science and Technology