David Clark


Architectural design values often consider the experience of a space to be primarily visual, and yet from the point of view of the beholder space is a holistic sensory experience. Moreover, while vision allows us to perceive static environments, sound adds a temporal dimension enabling us to experience how a space changes over time. Sound transforms a space into a dynamic experience with respect to both the space and the interaction of bodies within the space.

Tonewall is an interactive architectural form made up of an integrated experience of light and sound. A path of light cuts across and punctuates an otherwise lightless environment, a black box. The interaction in the space begins as bodies intersect the light path. The path can be envisioned as an atonal musical instrument which maps tone to the position of bodies across the room and overtones to the elevation of bodies in the space.
As an experimental interaction, Tonewall highlights the mutual experience of a space both visually and acoustically. While bodies define the visual and acoustic elements of the space, these elements in turn define the movements of the bodies within the space. In addition, both disharmonic and harmonic sound amplifies tensions as they relate to the proximity between bodies within the Tonewall. As bodies come together and connect, separate tones become singular.
Outside the Tonewall, guests within the space are spectators; within the Tonewall they are performers. To enter the light and become visible is to become a part of both the visual and sonic definition of the space. As the performance unfolds, so too does the story and the dynamic definition of the space.



wEAR is an experimental headset which integrates sound isolating ear muffs with a stereo headset and binaural mics. As a platform for acoustic sensorial intervention wEAR provides a means to manipulate how an environment is heard. One possible direction for the hardware would be to develop its potential as a device to empower a wearer with the ability to manipulate their own sonic environment. The wearer would be able to personalize their auditory experience by either highlighting or filtering sonic attributes of natural sound. Beyond this potentially commercial direction for the headset, wEAR can be also be used to formulate specific research questions involving how hearing impacts one’s relationship to an environment. An initial experiment planned for the headset involves fragmenting the experience of sound from that of vision. An accelerometer/gyroscope will be used to translate head motion to how sound is perceived. Both delay and frequency filtration will sever the natural connection between the eye and ear and potentially expose previously hidden details.