Hear, See, Play: Designing with Sound

October 13, 2017 – August 26, 2018

This is a Vinyl record. It was designed by Mario Hugo and manufactured by ATO Records.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
2 East 91st Street
New York, NY

Process Lab

The growing field of sound design gives an audible voice to products, brands, and interfaces. Through sound, our digital devices and products tell us when we have completed a task, received a message, or achieved a goal. Now imagine this world of products with no sound—no chimes, buzzes, or rings. How does the lack of sound diminish the usefulness of products? How does sound enhance and inform your experience?

This hands-on exhibition invites you to become a sound designer for Trash Bot, a street-cleaning machine. A sound designer uses melody, ambient sound, and special effects to communicate. Each sound you create will communicate Trash Bot’s actions and express the machine’s personality and emotions. As you design sounds for Trash Bot, think about how each sound will guide users through their interactions with Trash Bot and—just as importantly—transform an anonymous machine into an appealing, human-like presence.