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Introducing: Sound Driven Design Sig

Introducing: Sound Driven Design Sig

The DRS is pleased to announce the formation of a new Special Interest Group on Sound Driven Design, convened by Dr. Stefano Delle Monache, Delft University of Technology; Dr. Nicolas Misdariis, IRCAM STMS Lab; and Dr. Elif Özcan, Delft University of Technology. 

Please introduce yourself and your work. Why did you decide to start the SIG and how does the SIG relate to your own research?

The Sound-Driven Design (SoundDD) SIG is an interdisciplinary group with various research expertise and interests related to the field of sound and design at large. The SoundDD SIG reflects the shared interest of its members towards sound as a physical, perceptual, emotional and socio-technological phenomenon. Diverse backgrounds are represented including sound design and computing, acoustics and psychoacoustics, computer science, product design and engineering, cultural studies, philosophy and music technology. In general, what brings us together is the wish of contributing with actionable knowledge on sound to design better products and soundscapes, and ultimately better environments and life quality.

In the last 15 years several research initiatives, and one in particular, the EU-funded COST Action IC0601 on Sonic Interaction Design (SID, 2007 - 2011),  set the seeds and contributed to the creation and consolidation of new design theories, tools and practices utilising sound as one of the principal channels to convey information, meaning and aesthetic / emotional qualities in interactive contexts.

As this field of design research is growing and being established in multidisciplinary communities, we observed that sound-driven design was not yet represented as a SIG. Hence, we saw the opportunity to engage with all the other design research fields represented in DRS. In this respect, we especially want to emphasise the holistic and inclusive character of “sound-driven” as it combines the diverse sonic, experiential, technical and cultural manifestations of sound with the creative, integrative, mitigative, and purposeful essence of designing. With the SoundDD SIG, we offer a platform and a home for research communities that want to incorporate sound and listening in their design activity and research.

What is your SIG about? What are your aims and goals?

The DRS2022 Bilbao hosted for the first time a theme track on Sound and Design. The session was successful in attracting a high number of submissions, demonstrating the interest of the design community in sound-driven design research. The SoundDD SIG aims at bringing together researchers, designers and scholars to advance and develop sound-inclusive design methodology and knowledge on designing sound for complex systems and environments.

The SoundDD SIG frames its activities in three main areas:

Applied sound-driven design, including sound- and evidence-based case studies and interventions with specific impact, e.g., from product sounds to soundscapes, in healthcare, mobility, sustainability, and the lived environment in general;

Sound-driven design for experience, - listeners-centric and -inclusive design studies that investigate how sound and action intertwine to shape dynamic relationships between humans and objects, e.g. from the sound-driven experience to the effect of sound on listeners, such as emotions and alarm fatigue;

Fundamentals of sound-driven design, including inquiries on the fundamentals of design and audition, formgiving and cognition, research methodology, the role of sound-based representations in design communication and creativity, design methods and tools.

By promoting sound and listening as a social form of sharing and communication, our main goal is to establish and spread a design culture on sound and listening as well as leverage the design culture in the sound domains. To this end, the SoundDD SIG actions will aim at discovering and developing new methods and tools for designing and researching about sound (research), developing a sound-driven literacy in design (education), creating awareness and promoting public engagement around the experience of listening in complexity (society).

Who are the SIG's convenors?

The SoundDD SIG is organised in two bodies, the convenor team and the organising group.

The convenor team is composed of three members, namely Stefano Delle Monache, Nicolas Misdariis and Elif Özcan, who have been tightly collaborating on the theme of sound-driven design in the last years. They are responsible for the direction and planning of the SIG activities and ensure its daily management, and meet the organising group quarterly or more often if needed. The organising group acts as scientific committee and is composed of five members, that is Daniel Hug, Sara Lenzi, Sandra Pauletto, Davide Rocchesso, Simone Spagnol. We look forward to welcoming new members and making the SIG an active place of discussion and activities.


Stefano Delle Monache works on practices, methods and representations for sound-driven design, especially in collaborative, multi-stakeholder settings. He investigates appropriate sound-driven research methodology instrumental to contribute to the understanding of the embodied and multisensory nature of designing.

Nicolas Misdariis investigates the design process at the intersection of environmental sound and soundscape perception, auditory display, human-machine interfaces and interactive sonification. The research collaboration with industrial stakeholders provides the ground for a systematic inquiry of the real-world sound design practice ​​through action research projects. 

Elif Özcan works on sound-driven design and research in the fields of mobility, space operations and healthcare. She explores how to shape the sounds and soundscapes of complex environments with multiple listeners and multiple sound sources. Her connections to industry and expertise in sound-driven research makes her approach both fundamental and applied.

Organising group:

Daniel Hug is exploring sound and interaction design through art and design projects, theoretical inquiry and applied research. As expert in interaction and game sound design, Daniel has a focus on innovation and technology in sound and music education.

Sara Lenzi is a sound designer who enjoys incursions in sound art, and an activist on the importance of sound in communication. She investigates data sonification design and the use of sound to gather insights on datasets and complex phenomena.

Sandra Pauletto works at the intersection of sound and music computing, media production, sound design, sonic interaction design and sonification. She explores sonic augmentation possibilities often with a focus in sustainability and health, and investigates the transfer of established sound production practices to develop novel sound design tools.

Davide Rocchesso is interested in sound modelling, interaction design, and multisensory perception and action.  His focus on research-through-design practices in continuous multisensory interaction is aimed at developing sound synthesis models that are perceptually coherent, efficient, and controllable. He has led international research projects on sound modelling, sonic interaction design, and sonic sketching.

Simone Spagnol works on sound processing and representation, binaural technologies, sonic interaction design, and assistive technologies. He is currently exploring design possibilities in the context of acoustic signal recognition in socio-technological environments.

Do you have any upcoming programs, newsletters, or events you'd like to share with our members? Or any ideas for the SIG you would like to pursue?

The SoundDD SIG has just been formalised, but we already have many ideas. Beyond organising DRS events, including seminars and talks, and promoting publications, we really would like the SoundDD SIG to become a platform that facilitates connection and mobility between designers and researchers interested in the field of sound and design at large. We see the SoundDD SIG as an incubator of ideas and research initiatives. For this purpose, we will start soon working on a series of hands-on, research workshops.

The mailing list and the forum will be the principal channels of communication for announcing events, updates and funding opportunities for short term scientific missions and mobility. Further, we intend to curate an online map of institutions, researchers and their specialisation in the field of sound and design, as a resource to facilitate partnerships and initiatives.

And of course, we would like to be present at the DRS conference with a paper track on sound-driven design to launch the SIG as well as to advance, transfer and disseminate new knowledge. In general, we aim at attracting research communities within and outside DRS and foster open and constructive scholarly debate and discussion. For this purpose, we want to organise sessions at other conferences as well to contribute to the visibility of both SoundDD SIG and DRS.

How will being based with the Design Research Society benefit your SIG's work and research?

Having a DRS SIG on sound-driven design represents a significant achievement and acknowledgement of a field which was under-represented in DRS, albeit already existing scattered in different disciplinary areas. DRS is inherently interdisciplinary as sound-driven design is. This creates the best synergy and environment for the SIG to boost the advancement of foundational knowledge and theory on sound-driven design, thus contributing to the development of a soundscape of design research, as well as addressing societal issues towards more equal, inclusive and wise ecosystems.