Schematic Device 1

As I came during lunch to get a spotlight bowl from Karen Schellenberg, the Theatre Technician, I waited outside and had nothing better to do than to sketch.  Relating to my ‘Experiencing Architecture’ post, I was particularly intrigued with the parabola and its focus point, hence the need to get a parabolic form, or spot light.  My first thought was similar to Edison’s phonograph where there would be a diaphragm with a needle (or piezo) in the middle.  This needle would be located at the focus point so that when any type of wave form come towards the parabola, it would engage the diaphragm and the needle into vibration.  The clear disadvantage is that the waves must come perfectly perpendicular to the parabola or the effect is lost.

Next, I thought about having a network of strings moving through the diaphragm then continuing to reach out of the parabola.  In this case, the vibrations on any of the strings would send a wave towards the focus then resonant that wave back out in the direction the parabola is facing, and potentially vice versa.

As for the diaphragm, discussing about colour of sound – timbre – quality of sound, it is in my thoughts to have a variety of diaphragm materials producing different colours of sound, timbre and qualities of sound.  Such materials should be flexible and thin enough to vibrate freely.  At the same time, the material needs to have enough tensile strength and needs to be aurally permeable.  Potential materials are:

  1. Brass
  2. Pine
  3. Plastic
  4. Paper
  5. Rubber

In fact, I just thought about having a whole network of parabolic forms attached to one another, and to a ‘master parabola’.  Some ways I can could take advantage of the ‘only works if perfectly perpendicular’ case are:

  1. Have some parabolic objects in plan and others only in section
  2. Have parabolic objects move around to different ‘focus’ areas

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