WHAT architecture - London


Listening Mobile Recording Studio
Scale10 sqm
ClientBBC Radio 4
Budget€ 50000
Design Year2013


BBC Radio 4's The Listening Project is about creating important conversational opportunities between two people - siblings, parents, couples etc. The BBC wished to create a mobile recording studio to travel around the UK, to extend the geographical reach of this unique and important oral history project, where 2 possibly 3 members of the public can record a conversation that matters deeply to them. This is not simply a space to record an interview or a sound bite - the participants will be in the studio for anything between 30 minutes and an hour. As the mobile pod is moved around the UK, it must be robust, quick and easy to install and must be suitable for both interior / exterior spaces, must be waterproof, be DDA compliant, have durability for 2 years and be immediately recognisable.


WHAT_architecture RESPONSE:

A ‘mic cube’ is a foam cube fitted around a microphone branded with a TV channel’s logo. In response to the brief, WHAT_architecture’s MiCube is an oversized microphone cube made from elasticated foam by Belgian furniture company SixInch. Foam is a material common to anechoic chambers and recording studios as it absorbs sound thereby dampening resonance and ultimately echo. Foam is thus a great material for the MiCube being absorbant, lightweight and comfortable. MiCube thus borrows the chat room sofa and transforms it into a magical round room. For round table talks. This is furniture as architecture. Absorbing conversations. And relationships are all about listening.