Urban sound is an ephemeral, immaterial and spatial aspect that usually does not receive the attention it deserves in urban planning. The listening object Sonic Aggregator changes this in two ways. On the one hand, the object is a visible “gathering place” for urban sound; on the other hand, the object enables the participation of the communities involved and offers a place in the urban space that is accessible to all. The listening object enables participation in an accessible and playful way and creates the conditions to critically examine listening experiences in urban space in a collaborative and participatory work process.
The object – a modular, sculptural installation – invites people to linger, listen and interact, transporting and conveying the idea of urban sound, like a kind of Trojan horse, directly in the urban environment. While sitting in the object’s acoustically perfected semi-open sound space, visitors can virtually navigate through a defined part of the city via touchscreen and immerse themselves in the respective sound worlds. The acoustic properties of the installation are such that the listener gets the feeling of being in the place where the recording was made. This makes it possible to compare places acoustically, or to change sound properties and simulate possible scenarios.