"Currently, we live in a world that is a consequence of ignoring sound. We have reached peaks of noise pollution in our physical environments—especially in urban landscapes. This has occurred because the visual has been given priority over the aural, and continuous ignorance has led us to create and use noise abatement measures to reduce the effects of unintentionally designed soundscapes," argues thesis student Antriksh Nangia. "As in most other fields, this de-prioritization is evident in design since the post-industrial era where Bauhaus brought aesthetics to machinery and mass production. And even though Sound Design has been around for some time now, it is only limited to music, theatre and other art-related fields." Through his thesis Contemporary Soundscapes: Design to Prioritize Untapped Aural Potential in the Visual World, Antriksh takes the opportunity to explore the use of untapped audio potential as a medium of experience and product design through which he can engage people with the meaning of sound in its various forms.
With the overarching mission of elevating the medium of sound in design and our lives, Antriksh began investigations by learning from acoustic designers to music educators, delving into psychoacoustics and ethnomusicology. Further reaffirming his belief in its power, his pursuit was instigated by real impacts bought by niche stakeholders like The Sound Agency. However, Antriksh deduced that the root of the problem is that people are not exposed to the world of sound in the first place. Thus his initial interventions aim to reveal these soundscapes and then takes a natural progression towards using it as a medium of design.
Clairaudience is a workshop that was designed to engage children with the joy of listening. It is based on the premise of a sound walk and a sound spatialization exercise.
What The Sound
What The Sound is an interactive experience based on the practice of Foley Art to make people ‘listen’ to the objects that surround them. It was an exercise that exposed participants to the soundscapes of objects they interact with on a daily basis.
Sonify attempts to get sonic interactions in the hands of more than a few through an intuitive, easy-to-use and delightful mobile application. Participants can easily record videos and add sonic filters to modify the sounds within them.
Steptone allows users to imagine consequences through sound, instead of vision. It is the step ladder re-imagined. Instead of using visual cues, users ascertain the safety of climbing up or down the step ladder by following sonic cues that are added to the extreme treads. Primarily a safety feature, the product’s ideal users are visually challenged and older people.
Decibel Design envisions democratized access to Product Sound Design in the form of a service that provides an extensive database of product sounds through a digital library and consults with brands and individuals to construct and integrate sounds for their product offerings, covering all their sonic needs for a variety of interactions taking place in a product.
The Chanter is an instrument that confronts one of the biggest ills in our society—gun violence. In this instance, a wind instrument (the Sheng, an ancient Chinese wind instrument that creates beautiful, soft sounds when played) was made to look like a weapon of mass destruction. The sound object looked like a gun but was a purveyor of creation and peace rather than destruction, thus following through with the idea of make music, not war. This attempt to recreate this instrument in a completely different concept acts as an important conversation piece to instigate difficult conversations and induce a state of emergency in the grave matter of school shootings.
To learn more about Antriksh Nangia’s work, take a look at his projects in more detail on www.antrikshnangia.com. To contact him about work opportunities, or to simply congratulate him on a job well done, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.