The photograph below of methane bubbles trapped inside a frozen lake was the source of our inspiration. We wondered how their geometry could play a performative role in acoustics. In search of designing an innovative acoustic panel we wanted to avoid the typical model of subtracting material and achieving a repetitive block with a texture. Instead we looked to create a sculptural panel that would deflect and break sound waves.

Courtesy of Jessica Rosencrant

Egg cartons panels and dimpled foam panel perform similarly through their irregularly shaped surface

Our initial concept was a collection of bubbles at different heights but in optimizing the shape to work with the limitations of the CNC machine we aligned the center point of all spheres. This way we would avoid cutting the same sheet of material from two sides and doubling our cutting time.


The diameter of the spheres meant that we would need to use at least two layers of material. 60mm diameter spheres would mean we would use 4 sheets x 15mm birch plywood

We prototyped this idea and we worked with birch plywood to achieve a texture that works with our geometry and our sound deflection strategy.

The next step was to improve the depth of the panel by introducing a new layer of independent spheres as a second and third layer as per our fabrication strategy, adjust the parameters and design the implementation on the final panel

Digital Fabrication II – The Fizz is a project of IaaC, Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia developed at the Master in Advanced Architecture in 2019 by:
Students: Rani Kamel, Deepika Raghu, Andrea de Stasio, Daniel Nahmias
Faculty: Lana Awad, Ricardo Mayor, Sujal Kodamadanchirayil
Assistants: Alaa Al Baroudi