Acoustic shells are iconic elements seen in public spaces around the world. But beyond their curious form, their operation is highly interesting. Inspired by the design of the human ear, the sound waves produced within acoustic shells are organized by their form, becoming stronger and more vivid for the audience in front of the structure.
From a technical point of view, sound propagation is carried out by reverberations that, when created inside the shell, are directed by the concave shape towards the spectators. In other words, after a sound is made, it hits the shell and, due to the shell’s carefully calculated form, is distributed to the audience. Another object that uses the same reasoning is the iconic Brazilian pay phone developed by the architect Chu Ming Silveira.