Everything gives out a sound or vibration when excited. The generic term for the patterns of vibration that occur on the surface of an object when excited by an incident sound is ‘modal phenomena’. A field of study that covers everything from vibrations in suspension bridges, to vibrations in body parts of cars, to the effects of sound on the human skeleton and internal organs. In the 1970’s this branch of science was named ‘cymatics’ by Swiss doctor Hans Jenny and since then a variety of scientific and artistic explorations have taken place. Imagine one could use sound to bring matter to life and in turn create form, this is the basis for this proposal.
The Cymascope is a type of scientific instrument that makes sound visible. The surface tension of water has high flexibility and fast response to imposed vibrations, even with transients as short-lived as a few milliseconds. Therefore, water is able to translate many of the sinusoidal periodicities - in a given sound sample - into physical sinusoidal structures on the water’s surface. Current limits to imprinting sound on water occur in the higher harmonics and are due mainly to there being insufficient energy available in this area of the audio spectrum to cause excursions of the surface tension membrane - Thus it is much easier visualising the lower frequency spectrum.
By taking these physical experiments and translating them into a digital medium I am able to generate forms from various standing wave intersections. Using multiple nodes as sources to emit every day sound sources, complex and detailed geometry is formed. The geometry is then transformed from a planar surface into a three dimensional form in the form of a piloti. By using sound as an aesthetical device in creating piloti, we aim to further the established column orders, using todays parametric technology to further expand our attachment to the surrounding environment via everyday sound.