Abstract drawing, Creative coding


Beach is normally defined as the landform that connects the ocean and the land. It can contain naturally formed particles like sand and man-made infrastructures. While these are the visible, sound is an invisible normally neglected element that is also part of this boundary. This project used sand and sound collected from seven Los Angeles beaches to visually represent this area where human activities and nature intertwine. 

Part A: Sand with Sound Visualization 

Collage individual sound visualization in photoshop


Part B: Sound with LA Noise Data Visualization



Design Brief

Tim Durfee
Today, things have to be understood as parts of systems in order to undertand that thing at all. In spite of that, so much of the design we see today is still based upon seeing the world as comprised of unrelated, singular objects with local contexts. Even design that accommodates multiple systems still often maintains languages of form and relationship based on an older way of seeing the world. The argument in this class is that to design anything - of any scale - it must be understood as an entity among vast continua of technological, informational, social, economic, political, urban, cultural, infrastructural, and logistical systems.


Part A

Sand collection and sound visualiaztion using sand as medium
Sound samples for each beach: 

Part B

Different iterations to visualize land sound meeting ocean sound 



The field trip to LA beachs was the most inspiring part of the whole research process. Though second hand research is essential, primary research is critical for designers to get inspiration. The experience of seeing and listening around beaches give me the idea of the invisible boudaries between the land and the ocean. 

Due to limited time frame, I only carried out two full scale sound experiments with sand. If I have more time, I would carry out more experiements to test the visualization using different speakers, sound levels and amount of sand.