Do You Hear Me?

Constanze Maier

Keywords: Experience design, On-site design, Avalanche,,

The project is an immersive installation inspired by an on-site design research experience in the Austrian alps, as well as an experimental extension of the thesis “The Ontic Tonic” on embedded design through situated empirical research. As part of the on-site research, the designer participated in an avalanche safety training which included being buried under 1.5 m of snowpack for 15 minutes. During an avalanche accident, the buried victim is sonically isolated – which means that they can hear almost all activity from the outside – while the rescue team is incapable of hearing any sounds from the person under the snow. 

Drawing from this phenomenon of sonic isolation the project provokes the boundaries of our often distant relationship to the climate. The installation seeks to interpret individual aspects of an avalanche experience by activating a body-space discourse via an experimental encounter. It strives to tear down the rigidity of observing from afar while excluding the body by immersing the visitor, thus questioning the ambivalence of the outside and the inside.