BE OPEN Sound Portal is a Sound Experience at London Design Festival

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

The promo says "Be open to the sound of the future". OK: veni, vidi, vici.

The BE OPEN Sound Portal is a big rubber structure, plunked in the middle of London's busyTrafalgar Square.

It's meant to be a design experience through acoustics and sound--not a visual one. Five sound artists and composers have been commissioned to create works for it; a different one is heard every day.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Participants sit inside the structure where it is soft and white and a bit like a cocoon. Designed by Arup, it is very very quiet, given the traffic and tourists flooding the square outside. The creators say that "One of the challenges that the Portal has set itself is how to change our experience of urban space".

The sound does surround you and make you want to stay awhile. Or is that just the exhaustion from running around the London Design Festival all day?

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

The soundscape differs every day. Some are like cymbals, another is a solo guitar, another is made from ultrasound recordings under the sea.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

It's being recycled in a very cool way.

Bonnie Alter, June 2013/CC BY 2.0

After the Festival, it is going to an art college where it will be part of an inter-college project to explore the dimensions of sound. The BE OPEN Foundation will commission new sound works from the students and these will be heard in the spring.

Tags: Designers | London | Music

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