Design Studio Molo Announces “Paper Music for a Blue Room” Installation

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Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen of Canadian design studio molo are collaborating with sound artist Ethan Rose to create a large room-like structure made from flexible and expandable paper blocks with an integrated speaker-less sound system to be unveiled during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City, Spring 2012.

molo softblocks expandable room divider partition system

molo indigo blue softblocks

Visitors will experience a very physical sensation of sound with different sounds emerging from different locations within the paper block room. Touching the paper blocks you will feel the vibrations of the music.

Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen, co-founders of the Canadian multidisciplinary design studio molo, announced today that along with American sound artist Ethan Rose, they have created experimental prototypes that have the ability to turn their award winning paper softblock room dividers into speakers. The sound system does not use traditional speakers but instead seamlessly integrates transducers which sonically activate the paper-like layers making up the structure of the expandable and flexible partition system.

Although the system is purely experimental at this point, molo plans to eventually make its unique sound system commercially available.

molo will demonstrate the system during the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City from May 19 - 22, 2012. Sound artist Ethan Rose has created a sixteen channel composition that draws from a range of musical and “paper sounds”. Rose’s composition will resonate its music and sound within a room constructed from molo’s indigo blue paper softblocks.

“Visitors will experience a very physical sensation of sound with different sounds emerging from different locations within the paper block room. Touching the paper blocks you will feel the vibrations of the music. Sounds of tearing, ripping and crunching paper as well as the rhythms of running one’s fingers along the flexible, paper honeycomb blocks will be recorded and made into sculpted sound” said Forsythe, describing the installation.

“Prototypes have been created that turn molo softwall + softbock into speakers, whereby sound vibrations travel through the paper fins of the blocks. Wandering in and around a “torqued’ cube of stacked blue paper blocks you will hear the sounds of Ethan’s paper music. The music will literally envelope the space. With this design our modular and flexible blocks produce very clear high and upper mid-range sound. softblocks can be shaped to create unique space within large areas - a place of unique layered sound" said MacAllen, describing the application.

As part of molo’s continuing exploration of flexible walls and temporal space making, this installation marks the introduction of a new vibrant indigo blue colour for paper softwall + softblock and softseating. A deeply saturated indigo colour has been selected because the light absorbing and reflecting properties of indigo enhance the qualities of light and shadow in the pleated surface of molo’s paper walls, seating and building blocks, creating a rich texture that shifts with the viewing angle as you move around the block walls.

Previously, molo collaborated with Ethan Rose on the 2009 project northern sky circle. Todd MacAllen, Stephanie Forsythe and the molo studio designed and built an ephemeral outdoor room using only snow. Ethan Rose composed a sound piece, based on recordings of snow and ice, that was played inside the room.

softwall, part of molo’s softwall + softblock modular system, is a flexible freestanding partition system that can expand and contract to freely shape more intimate spaces within larger open areas. Recognized for its elegant innovation, softwall + softblock is a part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

molo's softwall + softblock modular room divider has been recognized through several international awards including Denmark's €100,000 Index Award and Dwell magazine's Modern World Award.

A similar past design variation of the softwall + softblock modular system has seen the flexible room divider emit gentle, glowing light using seamlessly integrated light emitting diodes (LEDs). This product is now in production and available through molo.

molo, based in Vancouver, Canada, is a collaborative design and production studio led by Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen. Dedicated to an exploration of space making in combination with experiments in manufacturing, materials and structure, the molo studio explores the overlapping realms of art, architecture and design, creating projects as diverse as a museum in Japan, a modular wall system and a tea set.

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Media Contact:
molo media department
+1 604 696 2501
http://www.molodesign.com

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