early prototypes

Cardboard spools ranged from 6 to 12 feet in length and 4 to 6 inches in diameter.

cardboard spools 

NATURE INSPIRED options to straight pole monument-like structures to filter sound.

I experimented with curvilinear shapes to learn how they might impact the efficacy of the ‘sonic crystal’ effect.

Writing On StoneFIELD RESEARCH into the relationship between persistent wind whistling over and through placed boulders on prairie medicine wheels and hoodoo formations in southern Alberta prompted what I now believe to be an innovation in sonic crystal design using curvilinear poles in close proximity with hard reflective surfaces (such as bus shelters).

STRAIGHT POLE DESIGN was refashioned to mimic features of a tightly knit grove of aspen trees that tend to be influenced by local topography (such as a big boulder on the prairie which ‘bounces’ and reshapes sound); I reasoned the gently curved and slender poles should still be able to filter and alter pitches of ambient sound like the trees.

That hunch turned out to be correct.

cardboard experiments

cardboard experiments

I EXPERIMENTED with several designs for the prototypes.

The first were made from cardboard spools saturated with water and then shaped before drying.

The prototype ‘sonic sculptures’ were then reconstructed with industrial-grade PolyPipe.

prototypes

polypipe prototypes

The pipes were hand and spray-painted.

Gentle bends in the pipe retain their shape; the top end of the poles can sway slightly like tall prairie grasses animated by the wind–this gave me another idea…

reed-like wood slats

reed-like wooden slats

WIND FILTERED through a reed-like installation of thin wooden slats creates the conditions for gentle shifts of ‘white noise’ (described more completely here).

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