MONAD Studio mixes 3D printing and sci-fi to create 2-string violin and futuristic sonic experiences
Although additive manufacturing has dramatically changed the landscape of creating customized products ranging from prosthetics to headphones and football cleats to even ravioli makers, perhaps one of the most exciting developments has been in how the technology is capable of creating entirely new interpretations of objects that have maintained their forms for centuries in part because of their traditional manufacturing processes.
When it comes to sonic experiences however, Florida-based MONAD Studio wants to turn everything you know about instruments and sound environments up on it’s head.
Founded in 2002 by design principals Eric Goldemberg and Veronica Zalcberg - both of whom studied architecture in Buenos Aires, Argentina and New York, USA - MONAD is a design research practice that focuses on “spatial perception related to rhythmic effect” with a focus on everything from urban plans and buildings to landscapes and product designs.
Although the design team have focused on a wide variety of projects, it is perhaps their designs that center around sound that have garnered the most attention - particularly due to to their generative design methods that resemble what some might consider an futuristic spaceship aesthetic. Of course, these wouldn’t be possible without additive manufacturing techniques.
The studio’s two-string Piezoelectric Violin (one of five instruments designed by the pair along with musician Scott F. Hall) would likely not be interpreted as a violin unless somebody saw one of the press photos, which features a musician playing the form like a traditional violin. The design more closely resembles a scale model of a spaceship - however it is perfectly capable of playing a tune thanks to a piezoelectric sensor, which is used commonly used as a “pickup” on musical instruments to amplify sound.
The violin, which will be on display at the Javits Center in New York on April 16th and 17th, is a part of an installation titled ‘MULTI’, which aims to interweave the sonic artifacts within a backdrop activated by piezo mics that metamorphose into a complex meta-instrument in the tradition of a one-man band.
Previously, the pair designed the ABYECTO Sonic Environment for an installation at the Miami Beach Urban Studios Gallery that featured musicians Jacob Sudol and Scott F. Hall. Similar to the upcoming installation in New York, the installation featured a 3D printed backdrop mural that, by means of activated handheld transducers, filled the gallery with constantly changing fields of sonic activity.
Gallery participants were encouraged to engage with the installation by touching the sound transducers against the sculpture to explore the resonant properties of the 3D printed sculpture. Altogether, the space, the 3D printed mural, the musicians and the public were involved in shaping the sensorial object.
“Pulsation thrives on hyper-charged, syncopated rhythms and sensual drive,” wrote the designers on their MONAD Studio website.
“It operates via smooth aggregation of discrete, holistically articulated components and de-aggregation of volumes in a state of urban friction, unzipping seams and foraging into spatial crevices charged with rhythmic opportunities.”
Combined with their architectural backgrounds and knack for creating entirely new forms using 3D printing, it’s easy to see that these designers are certainly onto something.