Built by — Yuri Suzuki
Yuri Suzuki is an experience and sound designer who works at the intersection of installation, interaction and product design. He joined Pentagram as a partner in 2018. His work encompasses sound, music, installations, product design, art direction, education and contemporary art for clients ranging from corporations to musicians to startups.
Convolution Reverb would use spatial audio to allow you to experience the rooms in your home as having different shapes, sizes and materialities. The application would use smart speakers to sonically morph the dimensions of your room, freely modifying the position, size, shape and material of walls and ceilings into changed surroundings. You could even shift between customised and real-world locations to experience an entirely new sonic landscape. Many of us find ourselves inside more than ever before, with a lack of diversity in surroundings affecting psychological wellbeing, and this experiment goes some way toward helping to overcome such challenges.
Convolution reverb has been a well-established technique in audio production for several decades. It’s a process that creates an audio snapshot (an impulse response) of an existing space that can then be used to recreate that space virtually. In the application, this effect would be achieved by scanning a room visually with a tablet, connecting to microphone-enabled IoT speakers and then speaking, singing or making any other noise. You would then be able to transform the shape and texture via the app, hearing the changes in room dimension and materiality sonically and in real-time.
Real-world spaces such as St Paul’s Cathedral in London or the Colosseum in Rome would offer unique auditory experiences from within your own home. The experiment would allow you to hear the reverberation of these spaces superimposed on the original floor plan of your home layout, quickly changing between familiar and iconic architecture.
To help understand what is happening sonically, the app would contain a visualiser, creating a direct link between eye and ear for a more immersive 3D experience. Colour gradient and line-height show volume in sound and the speed of sound waves are used to convey how the change in room dimensions affect the sound heard.