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City model "Acoutopia – City & Sound" by Neuhaus

View of Acoutopia – City & Sound by Neuhaus: the slightest change of light changes the appearance of the city model – the same is true for the acoustic impression when walking through the architecture.

Acoutopia is an environment designed from an acoustic point of view, a composition of architectural elements, flooring materials, and sound objects.

Acoutopia is based on the findings from our research into architecture/urban design and the sound of towns and cities. Creating a fabric of spaces that offer variety, are easy to read, and serve their particular purposes – without sealing them off against each other – is a key responsibility of urban design. In this context, the acoustics are a crucial factor. In an open form, Acoutopia enables visitors to experience what can be achieved when the design focus is on the sound of urban spaces.

"Performing the experiment of strolling through Acoutopia, I was obviously not the only one feeling almost alarmingly well."

Jürg Odermatt, in: Musik & Theater

"An inspired merging of acoustics and sculptural aesthetic."

Tages Anzeiger Zurich

"We experience this fictitious city as a place full of variety, which still gives us room to gain our own listening experiences. [...] When you step out into the street after visiting this exhibition, your ears will certainly be more receptive to your surroundings than before."

Schaffhauser AZ

"One enters this town with its paths, squares, and a landmark with a feeling of wonder, gets immersed in a different world and learns to listen all over again."

Schaffhauser Nachrichten

City model "Acoutopia – City & Sound" by Neuhaus

Acoutopia – City & Sound by Neuhaus.

Through the precise composition of architectural elements, a transparent, well balanced, colourful soundscape is created. 21 Passive Sound Sculptures made of varnished cardboard form multi-faceted resonant spaces and functional areas with distinct acoustic qualities.

City model "Acoutopia – City & Sound" by Neuhaus

Ground plan of the city model Acoutopia, covering an area of 200 squaremetres.

In three key areas, the ground is paved with pine wood planks, slate slabs, or gravel, while the rest of the floor is covered with geofabric.

A model urban realm is created, offering places promoting communication and personal exchange, places for recreation or contemplation, spaces providing shelter, areas designed for movement.

City model "Acoutopia – City & Sound" by Neuhaus

The sound sculptures Goliath Forest made of paper sheets and Laghi dei Rumori [Lakes of Sound] made of glass – and nosy explorers of the city.

Five sound sculptures/sculpture groups made of resonating metal plates, glass plates, or paper sheets form "utopian fountains".

The sculptures are designed to animate places and contribute to their legibility. They produce a colourful sound and create a special atmosphere. Their acoustic characteristics emphasize the structures of physical spaces.

City model "Acoutopia – City & Sound" by Neuhaus

View over the piazza to the avenue. A visitor listens to the sound sculpture Pentatron.

The materials are made to resonate through specifically designed, electronically controlled feedback processes and impulses, generating ever new variations.

The sound sculptures (see the above plan):

1) Radio Rebelde, with 7 resonating metal plates (360 x 60 x 60 cm)
2) Pentatron, with 5 resonating metal plates (95 x 95 x 23 cm)
3) Mille Foglie, with 86 resonating papers (1200 x 50 x 120 cm)
4) Laghi dei Rumori, 3 resonating glass plates (80 x 80 x 11 cm each)
5) Goliath Forest, group of 50 sound sculptures made of a total of 4800 resonating paper sheets (from 30 x 10 x 10 cm to 185 x 25 x 25 cm)

> Audio: interplay of sound sculptures in Acoutopia

City model "Acoutopia – City & Sound" by Neuhaus

View through the Goliath Forest; in the background the sound sculpture Mille Foglie [One-Thousand Leaves] forms an inviting pergola.

"An inspired merging of acoustics and sculptural aesthetic."

"A city in which the ears guide your steps. [...] The ear becomes the primary aid to orientation. Long before a sound source comes into sight one can already localize it amazingly well. That way Acoutopia becomes a precisely composed comprehensive sculpture that challenges just as much as it serves both the ear and the eye. "

Tages Anzeiger Zurich

"Every step an acoustic scenery."

"Acoutopia connects sound and space in an ingenious way. [...] Between art, architecture and music, a fascinating territory of acoustic variety opens up to the visitor."

Schaffhauser Nachrichten

City model "Acoutopia – City & Sound" by Neuhaus

Light playing with the Passive Sound Sculptures.

"Again my sincere congratulations on the terrific exhibition you have realized."

Philippe Nordmann, Chairman of the Board, Maus Frères S.A. Geneva/CH, founder of the Manor Art Award

"This looks just like Ali Baba's palace!"

A young boy during a guided tour for children

City model "Acoutopia – City & Sound" by Neuhaus

The Cupola forming a roof above the gravel floor of the place of worship.

"Acoutopia is really another one of these invisible cities. In fact, it embodies the acoustic properties of cities – or rather, to be precise, it embodies the reflection on the acoustic properties of cities. In this sense, the exhibition Acoutopia is the long overdue second volume of Calvino's Invisible Cities."

Dr Roger Fayet, Director of the Swiss Institute for Art Research, former Director of the Museum zu Allerheiligen