5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

You unlock this post with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension—a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a collection of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas.

The following designers have each transformed intangible, invisible audio—from orchestral scores to snipping scissors to Presidential addresses—into physical objects. Each explores a unique take on sensory mash-ups, conjuring strange, synesthesic worlds where eyes hear and ears see and everything's all kinds of trippy.


Noíze Chairs by Estudio Guto Requena

The Noíse Chairs represent a seriously impressive, multi-sensory deep dive into Brazilian culture. First, the team at by Estudio Guto Requena made digital models of three iconic seats designed by homegrown talent: the Girafa chair by Lina Bo Bardi, Marcelo Ferraz and Marcelo Suzuki, the Oscar chair by Sério Rodrigues, and the São Paulo chair, by Carlos Motta. These files were digitally fused with audio featuring normal, everyday sounds recorded in the São Paulo suburbs, then the distorted result were 3D-printed. Below is a clip from a live Noíse Chair event. [Design Milk]

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound


Camerata orchestra branding by Demian Conrad

When Swiss designer Demian Conrad was commissioned to create a graphic identity for Camerata, a classical orchestra in Lausanne, he wanted to evoke a musical vibe while avoiding on-the-nose illustrations of instruments. So he turned to the 200-year-old sonic experiments of German physicist Ernst Chladni, who showed how sand sprinkled onto the surface of a flat metal sheet will arrange itself into a variety of patterns, based on different frequencies played. Using a custom computer program that simulated Chadni's efforts, Conrad created a series of truly beautiful black-and-white motifs. [Co.Design]

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound


Barack Obama: Next Industrial Revolution by Gilles Azzaro

French digital artist and "voice sculptor" Gilles Azzaro transformed a fitting snippet of President Obama's 2013 State of the Union address into a series of 3D-printed peaks and valleys (which look like a ship in a bottle... minus the ship). As a laser beam scans the black object from end to end, the President's words to the nation can be heard loud and clear:

A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything...

[The Creators Project]

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound


The Sound of Clothes by SHOWstudio

SHOWstudio has been at the forefront of finding fun ways to present fashion online since the site launched in 2000. For "The Sound of Clothes," they recorded snippets from a handful of different studios working on their spring/summer 2014 looks—everything from clinking crochet hooks to knitting machines—then manipulated the noises into an audio track for each collection, which were used to create 3D animations (in shades that perfectly matched the garments, natch). Gonna file this over with these industrial musical masterpieces as well. [Creative Review]

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound


Swan Lake by Tokujin Yoshioka

Japanese designer and artist Tokujin Yoshioka is a freaking master at making physical forms seem like ethereal, otherworldly creations. Swan Lake is an installation at Crystallize, his solo exhibition (going on now!) at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo. These crystals were exposed to six months of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, growing in time with the orchestral strains. [My Modern Met]

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound

5 Eye-Popping Designs That Visualize Sound