Friday, 23 January 2009

Call for participation, sound designs, posters, demos: Sonic Interaction Design Workshop

Sonic Interaction Design and its relation to Film and Theatre sound design

SID Workshop at the University of York

Date: 2 April 2009 (followed by SID Management Committee on 3 April 2009)

Registration to the Workshop:
Please send an email by the 15 March 2009 with the subject line Registration York SID Workshop at

The discipline of Sonic Interaction Design (SID) investigates ways of conveying information, data and object characteristics through sound in interactive contexts. This field of research has become increasingly important and urgent as the technology available has become more powerful and mobile due to the process of miniaturization. Research regarding SID is relatively new, however, the practice of designing sounds to accompany, represent or evoke actions and objects has a longer history since Sound Designers have been creating new sounds for objects in Theatre and Film for many, many years. This knowledge and practical experience is the logical starting point for the new research field of SID.
The aim of this workshop is to bring together practitioners in the fields of Film and Theatre and researchers in Sonic Interaction Design to discuss and exchange knowledge and practice in the field. This is a rare opportunity for a highly interdisciplinary meeting of people who usually work in different contexts, but who are interested in similar issues. We hope that this meeting will stimulate discussion and produce fruitful collaborations.

Workshop Invited Speakers
Prof Mary Luckhurst, Department of Theatre, Film and TV, The University of York
Daniel Hug, Vertiefungsrichtung Interactiondesign, Interaction Design Program | Game Design Program, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Zurich
Annabelle Pangborn, Head of Editing, Sound and Music, National Film and TV School (UK)

Others to be confirmed

Call for Sound Designs

Experimenting with Sonic Interaction Design
A difficult question in Sonic Interaction Design is to identify ways in which design ideas can be sketched, tested, represented and discussed. One possibility is to set a scene or context in which a person interacts with objects. For this scene, a variety of sounds may be appropriate although, this will depend on the particular interactive experience the designer is attempting to create via sound for the person interacting with the objects. Only the people interacting directly with the objects (and perhaps external observers) can then tell the designer if their experience effectively related to the initial intentions of the designer communicated via the sounds.

Following this idea, in this workshop, we have set a small theatrical scene, involving interactions with sounding objects, which is open to different interpretations and performances, and we set out to perform it with different sets of sounds. The designers will have a context, objects and a setting for which to create appropriate sounds, the actor will respond and react to the sounds (and therefore the objects) as a person could do when using those objects in a real situation and finally the audience will be able to observe the scene and then discuss how well the sounds have communicated the intended experience. In this workshop, we will explore this “theatrical” representation of sonic interaction designs with a twofold aim:

- To discuss the effectiveness of the sonic interaction designs proposed in light of the original designer’s intentions and the feedback produced by the actors and the audience;

- To evaluate the advantages and limitations of this “theatrical” method as a tool for testing and evaluating sonic interaction designs.

We invite submissions of originally designed sounds (in .wav or .aiff format) for the actions and objects of the following theatrical scene (download scene text ).

The sound files should be accompanied by:

1) a document clearly stating which sound file corresponds to which action/object in the scene;

2) a second document which should report briefly the sound designer’s interpretation and setting (time and place) of the scene, the designer’s intentions for the design of each sound and the technical strategies used to design each sound.

Actors will perform the scene with the selected sound designs on the day of the workshop. The actors will rehearse the scene a few days in advance but only knowing the setting (time and place) decided by the sound designer for the scene. The performance of the scene will depend upon the response from the actors to the sounds proposed for the scene. The actors will then prepare a document reporting their understanding of the sounds.

After the performance, during the workshop, audience, actors and designers will be given some time to discuss how successfully the sounds were at communicating the initial designer’s intentions, which will be revealed to both the actors (interacting directly with the objects) and the audience (observers of the interaction).

A final discussion will draw conclusions on this “theatrical” method of testing and evaluating sonic interaction designs.

Submission details
Format: see details above.
Submission deadline: 9 February 2009
Acceptance notification: 28 February 2009
Submission of sound files and documents via and email to

Call for Posters/Demos
We invite demos and poster presentations on the subject of Sonic Interaction Design that are also of interest in the contexts of theatre, or more generally the performing arts, and cinema.

Submission details
Format: an abstract of max 500 words
Submission deadline: 31 January 2009
Acceptance notification: 28 February 2009
Email submission to:

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