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Participatory Designing with Sound

Project description

Participatory approaches to sound-driven design

Current sonic displays adversely affect the quality of our everyday lives. Therefore, when designing sound, a more collaborative understanding is needed of its role and position in environments where humans and technology co-exist. However, systematic design methods and tools that would help design teams in this way are lacking in the field of industrial design. To address this problem, the EU-funded PaDS project aims to open sound design practices to participatory approaches in which non-expert stakeholders participate in the design process together with expert sound designers. It will thus develop methods and tools to help designers and other actors to collaboratively create sound-driven designs. The results will help to advance knowledge on sound-driven design approaches.


Today’s sonic displays play a significant role in threatening the quality of our everyday lives, personal and professional.
Consequently, the interest to design sound is shifting from crafting the sound towards collaboratively understanding the role of
sound and its position in complex environments, such as healthcare and autonomous driving, in which humans and technology
must co-exist. Accordingly, the design process requires more inclusive, human-centered and technology-driven approaches to
design sonic experiences. Yet the field of industrial design lacks systematic design methods and tools to empower design teams
when they collaboratively express creativity through sound and discover sound-driven engineering solutions. Thus, with the PaDS
(Participatory Designing with Sound) project, I aim at advancing the knowledge on sound-driven design thinking in which sonic
communication (speaking about sound and experiences, imagining and representing them) is especially required within multistakeholder design teams that consist of expert (sound) designers as well as non-experts (e.g. users, manufacturers, policy makers).
The main goal of PaDS is opening sound design practices to participatory approaches, in which stakeholders are involved in the
design process as partners. The core of this project is the development of methods and representational tools to empower designers
and other stakeholders to collaboratively conceptualise, express, and communicate sound-driven designs. To reach its goal, the
PaDS project is based on a mixture of interdisciplinary approaches, including sonic interaction design, design cognition studies, and
experimental psychology: Applied research and contextual inquiry of sound issues in complex, socio-technological environments provide relevant case studies of collaborative sound design-thinking, that is investigated through protocol analysis and perceptual experiments.

Fields of science


Net EU contribution
€ 175 572,48
2628 CN Delft

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West-Nederland Zuid-Holland Delft en Westland
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 175 572,48