Sonic bloom: Design Museum Holon is making noise about audio design

external facade to function as a large-scale echo chamber
'The Sound of Architecture' uses Design Museum Holon's external facade to function as a large-scale echo chamber. Photography: Shay Ben Efraim
(Image credit: Shay Ben Efraim)

‘Here in Israel, we tend to blame the younger generation for choosing to go to a restaurant or concert over a museum,’ says Maya Dvash, chief curator at Design Museum Holon. ‘But they do this because of the need to have an experience – something that wasn’t previously fulfilled by the classic museum visit.’

Dvash and her team are on a mission to change this, filling Israel's premier design hub with immersive displays to touch, play with and hear, eschewing stuffy glass cabinets and library-quiet galleries. Recall the virtual reality units at the ‘eyewear through the ages' display last year, or Ron Arad's digital experimentations with crushed cars back in 2013.

For the museum's landmark summer exhibition, ‘Sound and Matter in Design’, interactivity is built into the very fabric of the building. Ron Arad's sweeping Corten steel walls have been dotted with speakers, emitting sounds controlled by the visitors themselves. Split into three parts, the exhibition comprises ‘Sensing Sound’, created and curated by Anat Safran and Lila Chitayat along with eight other sound artists and the Upper Gallery exhibition; ‘Seeing Sound’, curated by Anat Safran, Lila Chitayat and Elisabetta Pisu.

Cube Radio Ts 505 1977 Brionvega

'Cube Radio TS505', by Richard Sapper and Marco Zanuso, 1977. 

(Image credit: Brionvega)

The exhibition comes at a moment of flux and reinvention in the world of audio design, as interconnectivity and portability become design priorities. ‘These days, we can listen to music everywhere, we are still able to hear, but we have been de-sensitised to sound, and are losing the ability to listen properly,’ says Dvash. ‘Our exhibition gives a place to a very special way of listening. Listening with attention.’

Our ears are pricked. The lower gallery is filled with a ‘Sensing Sound' installation. Built specifically to connect us to sounds we would normally block out, it ‘aims to teach us how to listen again’, says Dvash. The installation includes original sound works, translated into visual representations influenced by the movement of visitors.

The Upper Gallery houses over 50 objects designed from the 1960s to the present, divided into three categories: stationary, mobile, and interactive objects, which exemplify the conceptual shift from object design to the design of a user experience.

It's a change reflected by the museum's own, ever-growing emphasis on audience engagement. ‘The modern exhibit attender wants more than to just see, they want to understand,' Dvash explains. ‘“Sound and Matter in Design” does just that, it gives the visitor not just a didactic tour of the museum, but rather the whole experience.’

100 speakers located across the structure

Sound emanates from 100 speakers located across the structure. 

(Image credit: Shay Ben Efraim)

explores the design and evolution of stereo systems

The 'Seeing Sound' display explores the design and evolution of stereo systems and speakers.

(Image credit: Shay Ben Efraim)

50 objects designed from the 1960s to the present

'Seeing Sound' features 50 objects designed from the 1960s to the present.

(Image credit: Shay Ben Efraim)

from the 'Seeing Sound' display

'Resound No.1', by Camilla Lee, 2014, from the 'Seeing Sound' display.

(Image credit: Camilla Lee)

'Miss' from the 'Seeing Sound' display

'Miss' by Sharona Merlin, 2017, from the 'Seeing Sound' display.

(Image credit: Tamy Dahan)

interactive resonating chamber

The 'Sensing Sound' exhibition features an interactive resonating chamber.

(Image credit: Shay Ben Efraim)

exhibition exploring principles that apply to both sound and design

Installation view of 'Loops', an exhibition exploring principles that apply to both sound and design alike.

(Image credit: Shay Ben Efraim)

'V Speaker' from the 'Seeing Sound' display

'V Speaker', by Oliver Stainano, 2014, from the 'Seeing Sound' display.

(Image credit: Oliver Staiano)

'Seeing Sound' display

'Luciano', by Paolo Cappello, 2016, from the 'Seeing Sound' display.

(Image credit: Newblack)

'Sound Bucket' from the 'Seeing Sound' display

'Sound Bucket', by Bakery Studio, 2008, from the 'Seeing Sound' display.

(Image credit: Bakery Studio, Gilli Kuchik, Ran Amitai)

'Tilt' from the 'Seeing Sound' display

'Tilt', by Lucka Or, 2012, from the 'Seeing Sound' display.

(Image credit: Luka Or Studio)

INFORMATION

For more information, visit the Design Museum Holon website (opens in new tab)

ADDRESS

Design Museum Holon
Pinkhas Eilon St 8, Holon
5845400, Israel

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Elly Parsons is the Digital Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees Wallpaper.com and its social platforms. She has been with the brand since 2015 in various roles, spending time as digital writer – specialising in art, technology and contemporary culture – and as deputy digital editor. She was shortlisted for a PPA Award in 2017, has written extensively for many publications, and has contributed to three books. She is a guest lecturer in digital journalism at Goldsmiths University, London, where she also holds a masters degree in creative writing. Now, her main areas of expertise include content strategy, audience engagement, and social media.