Venice Biennale 2018: Student From Campus Berlin Exhibits The Sole Interactive Piece At Festival

BERLIN, May 15, 2018. Basel Naouri, Jordanian Master’s student at the University of Applied Sciences Europe at Campus Berlin, has been invited to this year’s 58th Venice Design Biennale by the exhibition management to display his interactive installation Tonal Texture. The work impressed the curators because its interplay between sound and design elements enables the visitor to experience space through sound and connect with emotions at the individual level. The Venice Biennale has been taking place every two years since 1895 and it is the longest-running exhibition series of its type. It starts on May 26th and closes on November 25th this year.

“Everything flows” is one of the most famous quotes from the Greek natural philosopher Heraclitus. For Basel Naouri it must be “everything sounds”.
In the interactive installation Tonal Texture, shown at this year’s Biennale di Venezia, the Master’s student harnesses the interplay between material, sound, and space. The piece is made of special wood in a wave form and scanned by a light projection developed by Naouri. When a visitor comes close to the piece, he or she is met by an audiovisual reaction. This varies like with a theremin, depending on the location of the person in the room. The visitor can modulate the sound and light effects that are projected from and onto the wall. Thus a real-time audio modulation in a sensory experiential world is brought about.

Sounds make it possible to experience spaces

“I want the visitors to be able to experience the process of sound design with this installation. A fantasy is fueled through interacting with the installation, as a connection is made between the tactile object and the not directly tactile sound, and filled with an individual experience,” according to Naouri. As such his subject matter is to enable the visitor to connect reality with imagination as well as the seen and heard. It becomes apparent to the visitor that a spatial experience includes the personal, emotional connections with sounds.

Shaped by craft

With an academic background in architecture (B.A. at the German Jordanian University and the HWT in Saarbrücken) and as a musician, he is fascinated by sounds and their effects on people. In his current Master’s degree in the study program Media Spaces at the University of Applied Sciences Europe in Berlin, he is working intensively on the topic of sound design. Born in Jordan and growing up surrounded by craftspeople, he has had strong exposure to furniture making and metalwork from an early age. This environment gave him a deep understanding of design. During his architecture degree, he specialized in the interplay between architecture and objects as well as intellectual connections with textures and materials through experience. In his work, he has always been influenced by his love of music. In 2017 he was able to successfully display his piece Sounds of Designat the Amman Design Week to the public and as a direct consequence has been invited to this year’s 58thVenice Biennale.