Sound Sculpture 2020, Germany, Weimar

A LED installation reacts to sound pollution in urban space

Have you ever stood in the middle of “concrete jungle,” close your eyes, and listen to the city? Do you hear horns, braking sounds, or quarrels between drivers? The noise pollution erodes our mental health “quietly.” We live in such a noisy environment without knowing it, until we are able to “see” it. Sound Sculpture visualizes the noise into a different level of decibel in an installation to increase the masses’ awareness.

Modern city life does not deliver completely sustainable and healthy conditions anymore. One of the factors that can affect our life quality is constant ambient noise. Noise pollution impacts our physical and mental health without notice. It is related to an increase in high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes. Noise also evokes emotional responses, such as stress, irritation, and dissatisfaction. We decided to create an installation, which could visualize the noise pollution to the city residents. For this purpose, we designed light columns, which can be installed in urban space. The devices have sound sensors and LED light stripes inside. LED stripes are distributed in rings from up to down. Each ring is assigned to a certain level of sound. Depends on the decibel (dB) the sensors receive, the devices transform it immediately into a different level of the light display.



Team members : Ruo-Xuan Wu, Paulina Chwała

Supervisor : Brian Larson Clark, MFA. (Bauhaus University Weimar)

Institution : Bauhaus University Weimar


Technical Concept : Prototype With a sound sensor and LED strips, we create a prototype that runs by Arduino. The sculpture itself was built up with soldering metal frames and PC transparent plastic strips. Installation All the parts are 100% recyclable and modularized. The shape is based on a recycled-steel skeleton, covered by polycarbonate panels. Each tower is made of 3 round modules with 90cm diameter and 90cm height. The size is fitted to a human and urban scale. Polycarbonate is half-transparent, so there is no direct light and the effect is very bright. From the top, the installation is covered by OPV solar panels. This solution meets the aim of energy save and low material use. Inside the skeleton, all the electrical parts are hidden.

Visual Concept : The visual concept is a result of deliberation about creating an approachable informative space. The installation consists of several columns. All the columns are however creating a consistent installation. The size and shape of the columns are designed to fit the human scale. The minimalistic, half-transparent forms can meet various of different contexts. The columns are static in shape but dynamic as a medium. LED lights inside the columns are constantly reacting to the sounds around, somehow visually distracting the area. In a group, they behave wave-like, as sounds come and go in the city.


Paulina Chwała / Ruo-Xuan Wu

Paulina Chwała / Ruo-Xuan Wu

Paulina Chwała / Ruo-Xuan Wu

Paulina Chwała / Ruo-Xuan Wu

Paulina Chwała / Ruo-Xuan Wu