Anechoic is a ‘collections story’ that uses sound instead of visuals to interpret the essence of key garments from the Autumn/Winter 2006 collections by leading fashion brands. Part of a series of projects devoted to exploring ‘The Sound of Clothes’, these interactives and fashion films explore sound ‘generated’ by the garments themselves.
So what IS an anechoic chamber?
As we heard in the NPR Radio piece One Man’s Quest To Find The ‘Sonic Wonders Of The World’ this is a room that is designed to eliminate sonic reflections. A sonic reflection is when a sound wave bounces off of a surface in the environment, a wall, a car, a floor, a tree, etc. We often depend on these reflections to understand the nature of the spaces we are in, and unconsciously use this to navigate the world around us with our ears. Here’s a little video about an anechoic chamber at Binghamton University. Oddly it uses fabric as an example as well!
When Ron Miles was young, he would go with his mother to fabric stores, where he spent hours wandering aisles flanked by bolts of cloth. But it wasn’t the endless satins, tulles and twills that drove him crazy: it was the sound — rather, the lack of sound. “I hate fabric stores; the sounds just get sucked up in the bolts of fabric,” says Miles, distinguished professor of mechanical engineering and associate dean of research in the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science. Yet, his new one-of-a-kind laboratory is among the quietest places on the planet. “It is way beyond the sound of a fabric store,” he chuckles. “But I do like this.”