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For the sheer beauty of sound

At the begin­ning of each aca­d­e­m­ic year, stu­dents have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to take part in mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary inter-semes­tri­al activ­i­ties (IPA), enabling them to acquire new knowl­edge plus the­o­ret­i­cal, tech­ni­cal and prac­ti­cal skills. For those inter­est­ed in design or acoustics, Nico­las Dauchez and Christoph Har­bon­nier, both lec­tur­ers-cum-research sci­en­tists in the Engi­neer­ing Vibra­tion Acoustics (AVI) and Indus­tri­al Design Engi­neer­ing (IDI) cours­es at UTC, togeth­er with Thomas Boutin, Head of the UTC pro­to­typ­ing work­shop, have cre­at­ed «the per­fect IPA» in 2019: enti­tled ‘acoustic design’. 

The objec­tive of this API is sim­ple: to build a loud­speak­er with the best pos­si­ble acoustic qual­i­ties, with­out resort­ing to the tra­di­tiona lpar­al­lelepiped case, via a team work assign­ment and in 5 days, using the machines of the pro­to­typ­ing work­shop, and on a lim­it­ed budget.

In 2020, in order to con­front their stu­dents with new chal­lenges, UTC and the Lycée des Métiers d’Art(LMA) of Saint-Quentin joined forces. Engi­neer­ing stu­dents, art cab­i­net mak­ers and appren­tice wood turn­ers shared their knowl­edge, both in design and in wood trans­for­ma­tion process­es, to build wood­en case enclo­sures that are both aes­thet­ic and functional. 

For Raphaël Hazo, a stu­dent in the Indus­tri­al Design Engi­neer­ing (IDI) pro­gramme: “It is impor­tant to be open to oth­er forms of art and cre­ation, and wood work­ing is one of them. The LMA stu­dents do not have the same skills as we do, and vice ver­sa, so it has been a con­tin­u­ous flow of infor­ma­tion between us. “This ped­a­gog­i­cal col­lab­o­ra­tion between the LMA — Saint-Quenti­nand UTC has shown that the world of engi­neer­ing and crafts­man­ship are com­ple­men­tary,” adds Thomas Boutin. 

In 2021, a new chal­lenge, just as stim­u­lat­ing and in the air of time: to build a new enclo­sure from twoold ones, with a very lim­it­ed bud­get. After five days of analy­sis, dis­man­tling, design and recon­struc­tion, the tests were con­clu­sive: the upcy­cled speak­ers are of bet­ter quality! 

What about 2022? Those in charge have plen­ty of ideas for revving up the next IPA! Maybe our next gen­er­a­tion speak­ers will be made from recy­cled glass con­tain­ers or cast arti­fi­cial stone; who knows? 

Le magazine

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