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THE LISTENING PROJECT’S POD

CLIENT: BBC
LOCATION: ANYWHERE | UK
PROJECT TYPE: MOBILE POD TO RECORD RADIO 4’S THE LISTENING PROJECT
YEAR: 2013
STATUS: COMPETITION ENTRY

The Listening Project is an ambitious oral history exercise the BBC has undertaken in conjunction with the British Library to build a sound archive of our times for future generations to hear. To physically take The Listening Project around the UK, the BBC launched a design competition for a portable pod to record conversations with members of the public at venues such as shopping centres, libraries and festivals.
To provide a structure which consists of a minimal amount of components and is easy to erect we developed a concept of two interlocking shells constructed entirely out of triangular panels in the geometry of a geodesic dome. Structurally the dome provides a rigid surface capable to support its own weight and any imposed loads distributing forces evenly over a large area.
The inner shell is static, contains all the technical equipment and provides the comfortable and welcoming backdrop in which the interviews are taking place. The outer shell is mobile and capable to rotate around the inner shell. This allows the pod to act as an open stage during arrival and briefing of participants whilst turning into a tightly sealed unit for the actual interview.
Being able to switch between closed and open mode makes the pod extremely versatile. This, in combination with the use of interchangeable panels, allows the structure to be used for other programmes and events in between recording sessions for The Listening Project or once the series has come to an end.
The project was a collaboration with structural engineers (dp)² and acoustic engineer Mark Avis of University of Salford.



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