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Sound and Design

Ongoing research toward understanding and locating sound as a theory, medium and expressive element in design.

Sound is temporal, social, invisible and physical. Designers have been attracted to sound for some time, and digital work over the past few decades shows our visceral tendencies toward audial experimentation. As an integral part of digital and physical environments, it transforms the way we might speak to an audience and plays a role in shaping human experiences. It also affects our approaches to typography and text. This ongoing research examines the relationship between sound and design: What does sound mean to designers? Where does it reside in relation to what we already know? How will we use this invisible medium to express ideas, advance opportunities and solve complex problems?


Barness, J. (2014). Pushing Design’s Edges with Sound Interactions. SEGD Research Journal: Communication + Place 1(1). Access PDF version here.


2014. "Pushing Design’s Edges with Sound Interactions" presentation at the SEGD (Society for Experiential Graphic Design) Academic Summit. Savannah College of Art and Design, Atlanta, GA.

2014. "Sound Connections in Design Education" presentation at the UCDA (University and College Designers Association) Education Summit. Madison, WI.

Related Work

Common Sounds