Walking & Acoustics – KOSMOS Summer University Mobility 2013 – Tuesday

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On Tuesday we pretty much expanded the concepts we already had in mind the day before. We condensed them into two parallel projects: The ‘Cyborg’ and ‘Acoustic triggers in public spaces’.

To give you a hint what they are about these are the central aspects of the respective concepts:



How can we collect information about how we navigate acoustically? How can we enrich acoustic situations with additional & ordered information? How can we navigate in situations with diminished sight (e.g. darkness, fog, etc.?)

Experiment: Building an echolocation device and a senso-motoric device, and using Shintaro Miyazaki‘s Detektor device for ultrasonic measurement of distance, measurement of pressure (e.g.) footsteps and bending of body parts, and measurement of electro-magnetic signals

Possible applications:

  • Safety device
  • Navigation
  • Augmented listening/enhanced infosphere (“google” earplugs?)
  • artistic projects/new sensory experiences



How do people react to sounds in public spaces? How can we trigger individual and/or collective movement?

Experiment: Setting up an experiment in the public space of Hackesche Höfe, hiding loudspeakers & applying transducers to various surfaces which emit different sounds that might be uncommon or decontextualized. Observing how people adjust their walking according to these sounds.

Possible Applications:

  • Organisation of traffic
  • Manipulation of walking trajectories
  • Allocation / guidance of crowds
  • artistic projects/new sensory experiences


Beside these stripped down projects we had some thoughts during our discussions which aren’t in the foreground of our investigation.

On analogue storage media and the city as archive:

Writing and reading, interpretation of data is only possible with a moving sensor. A singular scanning contact is probably not enough to convey information. The architectural structures may ‘store’ sound in the way that the material and the architecture itself provide a stable, succinct form for sound to be shaped. Can we also explore the materially acoustically? Can people benefit from experiencing how different material sounds?

On listening while walking:

The attention of listening is organized differently than during standing or sitting. It would be interesting to determine what we usually attune to while walking. Which kinds of sounds and signals have priority? Which are audible but remain unheard by us?





Sunday & Monday