Adobe Indesign, Adobe Illustrator,  Adobe Photoshop, Cinema 4D

Hearing loss in adults is expected to double by 2060.

Vibration mag is a Y2k-inspired tech magazine with designed objects that speculate answers to the question  “what happens when we (as a society) can no longer hear?”


A speculative approach to noise
-pollution -perception -possibilities.


Noise pollution is one of the most harmful kinds of pollution. ➡ We categorize noise as unwanted or unpleasant. ➡  We try to avoid, ignore, ‘cancel’ noise. ➡ We work (and design) against noise rather than with it. ➡ The impact noise has on us still remains.

precedents:varying mediums -  inspire confrontation of perceptive, sensory, and epistemological experience

4’33 | John Cage

I am Sitting in a Room - Alvin Lucier

Babel Fish- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy | Douglas Adams

Tangible Interaction Music Organizer | Emerson Holladay

Last Breath | ::vtol::

Personal Instrument | Krzysztof Wodiczko

The Phantom Recorder, Cognitive Device | Revital Cohen

Blind Alphabet | Willem Boshoff

Ambient Addition: How to Turn Urban Noise Into Music | Noah Vawter

Electrical Walks | Christina Kubisch

Sonic Bed_London 2005 | kaffe matthews

Prepared Radios | Ryota Kuwakubo


What is noise? Who decides?

Noise - definitions and quotes

  • Middle English (also in the sense ‘quarreling’): from Old French, from Latin nausea  ‘seasickness’ (see nausea). - Oxford Dictionaries
  • A sound, especially one that is loud or unpleasant or that causes disturbance. - Oxford Dictionaries
  • Irregular fluctuations that accompany a transmitted electrical signal but are not part of it and tend to obscure it. - Oxford Dictionaries
  • Continuous noise - Continuous noise is exactly what it says on the tin: it’s noise that is produced continuously, for example, by machinery that keeps running without interruption. - Craig Storey
  • Intermittent noise - Intermittent noise is a noise level that increases and decreases rapidly. This might be caused by a train passing by, factory equipment that operates in cycles, or aircraft flying above your house. - Craig Storey
  • Impulsive noise - Impulsive noise is most commonly associated with the construction and demolition industry. These sudden bursts of noise can startle you by their fast and surprising nature. Impulsive noises are commonly created by explosions or construction equipment, such as pile drivers, or your nextdoor neighbour doing some DIY on a Sunday morning. - Craig Storey
  • Low-frequency noise - Low-frequency noise makes up part of the fabric of our daily soundscape. Whether it’s the low background hum of a nearby power station or the roaring of large diesel engines, we’re exposed to low-frequency noise constantly. It also happens to be the hardest type of noise to reduce at source, so it can easily spread for miles around. - Craig Storey
  • Environmental noise is the accumulation of all noise present in a specified environment. -  Bankston Cotton
  • sound that lacks an agreeable quality or is noticeably unpleasant or loud - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • any sound that is undesired or interferes with one's hearing of something - Merriam Webster Dictionary
  • the characteristic natural or routine sound or sounds of something (such as an animal or an environment) - Merriam-Webster Dictionary
  • Senses relating to sound or the disturbance caused by this. - Oxford English Dictionary
  • Sound; the aggregate of sounds occurring in a particular place or at a particular time; (also) disturbance caused by sounds, discordancy, (in early use) esp.  disturbance made by voices; shouting, outcry; - Oxford English Dictionary
  • A by-product of the industrial revolution - Mel Gordon
  • An assault against silence - Aldous Huxley
  • Noise was really not born before the 19th century, with the advent of machinery. Today noise reigns supreme over human sensibility. For several centuries, life went on silently, or mutedly. - Luigi Russolo
  • Noise may have lost its power to offend. Silence hasn’t. - Dan Warburton
  • A noise is a resonance that interferes with the audition of a message in the process of emission…Noise, then, does not exist in itself, but only in relation to the system within which it is inscribed: emitter, transmitter, receiver. - Jacques Attali
  • There is no difference between Noise and Music in my work…It’s different depending on each person. If noise means uncomfortable sound, then pop music is noise to me.” - Masami Akita (Merzbow)
  • Noise is unwanted and/or harmful sound - Daniel Fink
  • sound out of place - George William Clarkson Kaye
  • Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating. - John Cage
  • A symbol of the possibility of meaning - Mike Rugnetta


  1. What role does tangibility/physicality play in our perception of sound?
  2. How do I encourage the experience to make someone turn noise into music, not just do it myself and show them? (show don’t tell)
  3. What if sounds were random?
  4. What if sound volumes were random?
  5. What if you could change noise in real-time? (noise-canceling)
  6. What if visuals confused the senses? (mismatch music and visuals)
  7. What if we created additive interference instead of destructive interference?
  8. What if our emotions made noise?
  9. What if we could catalog our emotions through noise?
  10. What if we could induce catharsis through noise?
  11. What if emotions dictated noise?
  12. What if you could see, taste, smell, touch sound?
  13. What if there were no noise? If every sound were pleasant?
  14. How to make the interactor confront their own associations?
  15. How does manipulation of time affect what noise is?
  16. Do humans make noise?
  17. What if human sounds were noise?
  18. Why does styrofoam noise affect me the way it does?
  19. What can we learn from other senses? If we could translate senses?
  20. How are we noise? Vibrations/atmosphere 
  21. What is to be said about our own noises?
  22. What if we were taught about sound the way we do visuals?
  23. What purpose does sound serve?
  24. Has the meaning of noise changed (etymology)?
  25. What can we learn from the multiple meanings of noise?
  26. Is noise just an interruption of a drone?
  27. What if we designed sound first/intentionally?
  28. What if we treated sound as we do vision (our primary sense)?
  29. What if the lower end was more intense (people who are hard of hearing)?

speculative approach:

There are no solutions in these projects or even answers, just questions, thoughts, ideas, and possibilities, all expressed through the language of design.

Speculative design props function as physical synecdoches, parts representing wholes designed to prompt speculation in the viewer about the world these objects belong to.”

-Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby

5 prototypes in 5 days:

Artifacts from a society that can no longer hear

feedback + volta:

“What is your definition of noise?”
- Mark Dorf

My definition: Noise is merely a categorization of a type of sound that indicates particular information in particular contexts

change other’s definition of noise
my definition on noise

present my definition of noise

focus on sound not noise

central questions:

What if we could no longer hear (through our outer ears) collectively?

What is sound other than sound?

prototype 1:
What is sound as information? What is sound as touch? What is sound as a sign/evidence of life?

focus: physicality + materiality

prototype 2:
Where can these prototypes live?

focus: context + narrative

prototype 3:

How can the balance between the familiar and imaginative be reached?

focus: aesthetics + materiality

final form:
How can these prototypes be contextualized?

focus: narrative + consumerist context