A most intriguing and innovative object that enables people living in urban areas to escape the noise and the agitation of the city life.
The designers started the project by analyzing the city of Tokyo and its inhabitants and completed have completed it especially for Tokyo Designers Week 2008. The aim was to create a room that would fit in a container, a “secluded but extremely high quality listening experience”, taking after director Lou Weis’ previous research into Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder Cycle. Within the first five visit days, more than 4,000 people enjoyed the acoustic experience given by the listening room, a fact which points to the conclusion that the project had an enormous success, encouraging the designers to further research and develop the device which will hopefully become something more than just a prototype, a product everybody will be able to buy and through it, enjoy a wonderful acoustic experience.
“KT: the listening room attempts to create a personal audio experience in a secluded and private space in the turmoil of a high-profile design event in the heart of Tokyo. “
It is nonetheless a bit special. Whilst most people hope to bring us closer to each other, these designers saw more fitting the idea of splitting one person from the rest of the society by providing a very insulating room that acts like a separative wall between the user and the rest of the environment. It creates a pure sentiment of seclusion and privacy which nowadays can be very beneficial, especially for people living in large urban areas. We can no more be left alone with our own thoughts and analyze and meditate upon our lives. You can consider this some sort of an escape route to a mystical land were music and rhythm lead to the unique personal experience of contemplating and reflecting on what we’ve accomplished.
“Whilst maintaining the premise of the Kindertotenlieder cycle as a contemplative pivot for the installation, KT: the listening room integrates several other elements that make this piece attach itself to some key values specific to Tokyo urban culture. The sense of confinement to a small space. The idea of separateness in a multitude of others. The option of self chosen isolation. The ostensive layeredness of the urban fabric. The necessity to occasionally flee the chaos. “
KT: the listening room provides the user with a feel that exceeds the normal boundaries of perceiving music and the thoughts that follow it.
“Corrugated fiberboard panels and compressed polyester foam panels, that have been CNC sliced, are systematically clustered to form a circle of speakers, all focally oriented towards the listener’s sofa. “
This is a bold project that has an effect similar to the wonderful experience of taking a hike. Just like the solitude of the mountain, it provides the user with a one of a kind personal space, enhancing the beauty of spending time with ourselves.
Design: MAT Studio and Elastik
Concept: Joy Ride Enterprises
Accoustic Design: Derek Thompson (Arup Melbourne)
Co-production: Joy Ride Enterprises, MAT Studio, Elastik and Dechnology
Photo courtesy to Keibun Miyamoto
Special thanks to: Masatsugu Kitamura, MajelleWams, Yasuyuki Sakuma,
Hideo Terui, Tatsuya Ishiwara, Tsutomu Nogawa, Kaori Ishiwara,
Tomoko Taniguchi, Ayako Kumabe, Takeshi Mukai, EikiWatanabe, KayokoWatanabe
Source: competition, 2008
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Facts: 20 ft container converted into a listening frame
Structure: corrugated fiberboard and compressed polystyrene
Sponsors: the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Tokyo, Japan, Marantz Consumer Marketing Co.,Ltd, B&W (Bowers and Wilkins), Prime21 Co.,Ltd (MultiCut-Tonbo), Daiichi Foam Co.,Ltd, Rengo Co.,Ltd, Doi Kougei Co.,Ltd, CIA Inc., TheBrand Architect Group