I Hear You Say (2013)

I Hear You Say is an installation by AFJD at a leading university-based centre for interdisciplinary studies. Made from post-consumer recycled EPS (expanded polystyrene) with a hard coating, The installation is a physical visualization of audio recordings of transdisciplinary communication. We collaborated with scholars from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts to conceptualize a physical installation that highlights and reflects the extraordinary challenges for meaningful interdisciplinary research. The design process, which followed an initial period of collaborative ideation with all participants, employe data visualization to create a spatial representation of an interdisciplinary exchange. Recent research on acoustical analysis of recorded conversations was used as generative material that was rendered physically using digital fabrication techniques. The resulting installation is a physical artefact of collaboration that also serves a practical purpose, functioning as sculpture and furniture at the centre and as a focal point for fostering interdisciplinary conversations.

Some of the most significant intellectual discoveries that benefit society come from collaboration across multiple disciplines. Yet there are considerable barriers to communication between fields of research, given different research methodologies and capacities and widely differing vocabulary within each core field of research. Design methodology can help overcome these barriers, enhancing innovative knowledge generation and problem solving.

The piece was commissioned for the University-Based Institutes for Advanced Study conference held the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, and is permanently installed on the terrace of the Institute.