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Antti Ikonen and MA students in New Media to win Grand Prix in ISA2019

The soundscape design for Helsinki New Children’s Hospital has been awarded a Grand Prix in International Sound Awards 2019.
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Aalto University with their project Soundscape Design for Helsinki New Children’s Hospital has won the Grand Prix in International Sound Awards 2019 Award Gala at Schmidtchen in Hamburg, Germany. The soundscape was shortlisted for a prize in the category “Soundscapes and Ambient Sound”. The soundscape for New Children’s Hospital Helsinki has been developed and realised by lecturer Antti Ikonen and Sound in New Media MA students of Aalto University.  

The New Children’s Hospital in Helsinki is the largest children’s clinic in Finland. The sound design project was developed and implemented from September 2017 to August 2018. The hospital has a visual theme for each floor such as space, mountain, magic, sea among many others. The soundscapes of the hospital have been designed corresponding to these themes creating a soothing sonic environment for the children and staff and are played through 60 loudspeakers placed in lounges of the hospital. The primary aim was to create soundscapes that make the hospital environment sonically less intimidating for the kids. The soundscape is generative, not looping, in order to avoid ear fatigue.

In the production process, sounds have been recorded and composed. Later these sounds have been tested out in different spaces at Aalto University. Based on the feedback, the soundscapes have been modified. The final soundscapes have been fine-tuned on location in the hospital and adjusted according to each space.

The International Sound Awards (ISA) aim to promote innovative, smart and useful sound projects, products and services, connecting and bringing people from different industries together. It is the most significant competition in the field of sound design, that isn’t related to other fields of art and media (such as film, games etc.). The competitors and winners are connected only through sound instead of other industries or contexts. The jury consists of vanguards in the field of sonic research and audio branding. The prize is provided by Audio Branding Society and Audio Branding Academy.

More details and excerpts from the soundscapes can be found here.

List of the winners and more details about the competition here.

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