Wendy Jacob is an artist and researcher involved with expanding the sensory dimensions of art, including research on the tactility of sound for the hearing impaired. In 2008 she founded and led the Autism Studio at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), developing new and creative responses for living with autism.
Wendy Jacob proposes to make a building sing. In doing this she has worked closely with care staff identifying the sounds that interest/motivate/ stimulate/excite the individuals they care for. Given that the individuals she works with have sound sensitivities, feeling the sound more often than hearing it, she proposes to work with vibration – turning the sound into felt events.
Wendy has been working over the last year with care staff to collate sounds that are of interest to two individuals with profound learning disabilities. The way of recording individuals’ responses through involving staff has allowed us to learn more about staff involvement.
Over the next year, Wendy will look at ways individuals receive the sounds, working with musicians, inserting the sounds into architecture and furniture – a wall, floor, handrail, a chair – where individual can experience the vibrational hums simply by leaning on the active surface.