The Sonic Interaction Lab (SiLab) is a design and research laboratory and provides the space and facilities for experiments in music, sound and interaction, in a broad context. The main focus is the experience of sound in an interactive context.
SiLab has been initiated by the research program ‘Music Design’ and is part of the combined HKU Labs that also include the MAPLAB and the StudioLab.
Research through design
The SiLab is a space in which music, sound and interaction projects are carried out and where students and staff are invited to discuss their ideas for further exploration. Provided, of course, that the subjects are relevant to the lab’s goals and activities.
The projects the SiLab accepts, formulate, executes and coordinates are carried out in collaboration with or for external parties or are, at least, related to a current demand in education, professional practice or society.
The lab creates space and enables experimentation as a step in the development and design process. It makes the experiment and the results visible, transferrable and applicable.
The three design and research areas are:
- the method: the research focuses on the methods for designing useful applications of sound and interaction.
- the user: we explore how sound and interaction affect the user experience.
- the process: the research explores and analyses the design process (within sonic interaction).
The SiLab links the aforementioned design research areas to topical social developments in art and culture, technology and societal sectors such as health. This generates relevant research, in which staff and students are focused on the world outside the institution itself.
Below are a few examples of current social developments and how the SiLab links them to design research:
- kunst en cultuur: kunst en cultuur hebben net als wetenschap een voorlopersrol. Nieuwe ontwikkelingen, tendensen en ideeën vinden van oudsher hun weg naar meer mensen en acceptatie via de kunsten. Het opzoeken van de grens van het mogelijke, inhoudelijk en technologisch, is een taak die hoort bij de pioniersfunctie die het SiLab zichzelf heeft opgelegd.
- Socio-cultural: New technological applications are cross-border. This is steadily reducing the digital gap in the Western world. It also provides opportunities and chances for applications for different target groups. Moreover, new technology can be used to make all kinds of information easily available to various target groups. Second screen applications in a film or theatre context, for instance, so non-native speakers can still enjoy the performance.
- Technological: Developments are progressing at an accelerating pace, making more and more things possible. There is, however, the risk of getting carried away with new developments and failing to seek solutions that use existing technology. The SiLab researches and develops new technologies within a context of broad and in-depth knowledge of the history of (music and) technology.
- Demographic: Music and sound can play a role in making interfaces accessible to the growing group of seniors as the population ages. This can include overcoming the consequences of being partially sighted and using sound to make media applications more easily understandable. There is also the growing phenomenon of a new (il)literacy. The youngest generations have grown up with technology and interactive media. This trend is on the rise and the use of music and sound can increasingly provide solutions for interfaces, for example.
The SiLab is located at the Hilversum site of HKU University of the Arts Utrecht.
Researcher / designer : Sander Huiberts
Researcher / designer : Than van Nispen tot Pannerden
Coördinator: Martijn van Gessel
SiLab is a HKU-research-lab, find more information on the labs at the HKU-site.