Sonic City

This project asked us to choose a piece of public art from around Dundee city centre and create a sound based response in a 3D form, or a listening post. My group investigated each of the pieces of art and chose to focus on the concrete sculpture of the car located near the train station. The location is surrounded by a car park and a main road, so there is a lot of air pollution, this sculpture attempts to tackle that as it actually absorbs pollutants and breaks them down into simple elements and chemicals that are beneficial to the environment.


Looking at the car’s ability to tackle air pollution we decided to investigate another problem in the area – sound pollution. Sound pollution is something that most people aren’t even aware affects them, but something as simple as traffic noise can elevate your blood pressure and make you more stressed without you even noticing!

sonic city notes 1

We focused on the idea of the car sculpture “breathing” new air into the environment, so took that as a base for our sound investigations, but also made a point of cutting down the existing noise. Half of the group looked at creating natural breathing noises and heart beats, and half of the group investigated natural ways to absorb the noise through different materials and forms.


Using tessellated shapes made of soft materials (e.g.. soft furnishings or other highly porous materials like cork or foam) is the most effective way to absorb sound.

sonic notes 2

We decided on a domed structure to cut down as much of the external noise as possible without completely cutting the existing sculpture off from the rest of the environment. The existing sculpture still has to bee in open air to keep in context.

car drawing 1

This is a quick image of the proposed 3d structure – it consists of a shell made of fabric impregnated with concrete, in internal layer of sound absorbing foam, a wooden support structure in the shape of ribs and a spine and large cork, tessellated, geodesic spheres suspended from the ceiling.
sonic 2013-10-18 21574600000

perspective sonic city


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