Sound Studies Group

This is the Sound Studies Group at the SUSTech School of Design, Shenzhen. It is led by Dr. Qiushi Xu and Dr. Marcel Zaes Sagesser. Our research focuses on sound in relationship with technology, the environment, and human listening. It includes sound technology, sound studies, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), sound design, philosophy of science and technology, spatial audio, interactive audio, and creative media. The output of this team is published in prestigious international journals, at domestic and international conferences, and at international exhibitions and concert halls.

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4/27 - 5/19/2024

“A Grain Of”

Designing for Techno-Natural Futures: Rendering Shenzhen’s Urban Materialities from Inside a “Grain”

At Shenzhen Design Week, Nanshan Museum, Shenzhen

By SUSTech School of Design
Materialities Research Group + Sound Studies Group

Team leaders:
Enza Migliore, Assistant Professor
Marcel Sagesser, Assistant Professor

Research Team Members:
白伊园Yiyuan Bai
刘兆蕤Zhaorui Liu
唐中慧Zhonghui Tang
张耀涵Yaohan Zhang
董博Bo Dong
黄佩华 Peihua Huang
马玉晶 Yujing Ma
夏梓纯Zichun Xia
张芷祎Zhiyi Zhang
王思萌Simeng Wang

Photo credits @ Amedeo Martines

“A Grain Of” is an ongoing technology-driven research project that aims to read and sense emerging urban environments through their materiality, on the example of Shenzhen. The complexity of the city is rendered through the physical hybridization and the conceptual manipulation of data collected over eight weeks of extensive fieldwork.The present exhibition creates a multimedia immersive experience strictly based on Shenzhen’s data, thereby building knowledge that will help us develop future cities.


We are currently looking for exceptional students for short-term or long-term projects in the areas of virtual reality production, spatial audio production, digital media production, sound production, and HCI. If you are interested in working with us, please send us your CV.

Research Activities 2024

Research Activities 2023

Fall Semester of 2023Qiushi was invited to be expert reviewer for the courses below at the SUSTech School of Design:
DS202 3D from 2, interim review
DS339 Service Review, interim review
DS323 AI in Design, final review
DS333 Narrative and Branding, final review
DS345 Sound Design, final review
DS201 Visual Representation, final review
DS401 Research Methods, interim review and final review
DS402 Research Projects,  interim review and final review""

Dec-20-2023 Qiushi was invited to give a talk on “Cutting-edge Practice and Imagination of Creative Power" Salon Series, “At the Intersection of Science, Technology and Art", Institution: ArtBay for the “Shenzhen 19th Creative December” Activity

Dec-06-2023 The Swiss piano quartet “Kukuruz Quartet” presents “The Failed Pianist,” a multidisciplinary performance for five pianists, at the Música Estranha Festival, São Paulo / Brazil. The program includes music by Manuel Pessôa de Lima, Clara Allison, Julius Eastman and Marcel Zaes

Dec-01-2023 Binghuang Xu and Dinu Li win a “Connections Through Culture Grant” by the British Council, UK

Dec-01-2023 Annie Aries and Marcel Zaes (as “Aries Zaes”) release their second album titled “DUST”, on the label Prefermusic Switzerland

Nov-21-2023 Xiaoyu Lin and Marcel Zaes Sagesser give a talk titled “Dirty Mediations: An Aesthetic for Live Performance with Digital Media” at the Shenzhen Technology University

Nov-10-2023 Qiushi delivered a talk on the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S), Title: “Exhibiting Sound While Making STS Practice”, Location: Honolulu, U.S.A. and Virtual

Nov-07-2023 Binghuang Xu to participate as a panelist in the China Summit at Brown University, USA

Oct-21-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser / Minghim Tong / Zhen Wu / Sylvia Lee: Artwork “High Sections / Low Leaps” is included in the SeeD First Pilot Project Exhibition, Shenzhen, China.

Oct-11-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser delivers PhD seminar “Degrees of Sound: Listening between Low and High Tech” at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Guangzhou (HKUST-GZ), Computational Media and Arts (CMA) thrust area, Guangzhou, China

Oct-01-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser presents media performance “Dirty Mediations” at the Montreux Jazz Festival China (MJFC), Kunshan, China

Sep-26-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser will be a panelist at “Art x Science Dialogues: Transcending Waves: Sound, Technology, and Creativity” co-organized by Duke Kunshan and Swissnex Shanghai, where he’ll be talking about his new media project that he’s currently working on, “Dirty Mediations.”

Sep-23-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser will present the workshop “Sonic Architecture and Auditory Imagination” at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Department of Cultural and Religious Studies

Sep-18-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser delivers PhD seminar “Degrees of Sound: Listening between Low and High Tech” at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Division of Integrative Systems and Design, Hong Kong

Sep-02-2023 Binghuang Xu delivers artist talk “Re-Forming: A Research-based Arts Project, Overlooked Cities in Asia,” at the Urban Studies Foundation Seminar Series, Bandung, Indonesia

Sep-02-2023 Binghuang Xu is shortlisted for the “Mentorship Award: Moving Narratives Programme” by the Prince Claus Fund and the British Council (NL + UK)

Jul-30-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser, Enza Migliore, and Long Pan as panelists at CAC Chronos Arts Center, Shanghai   

Jul-28-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser and Binghuang Xu present “Listening Through Technology: an Interactive Sound Walk for a Suburb in Shenzhen” at the HCI International 2023 conference in Copenhagen

Jul-12-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser presents artwork “Setting #29” at DIS Designing Interactive Systems conference, Arts Track, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Jul-12-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser presents “Mediating Place as Staging Time in “Setting”: Sonic Interactive Mobile Technology as an Art Performance” (Art Paper) at DIS’23 Designing Interactive Systems conference at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh

Jul-01-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser presents “Drum Machines in Popular Music Production: The Convergence of a Digital Logic in Technology and Aesthetic” at The 3rd National Publishing Doctoral Academic Forum at the School of Publishing, Printing and Art Design, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology USST, Shanghai

Jun-03-2023 Binghuang XU is awarded a residency and spends two weeks in the “Reconnecting: Artmaking and Mobility” program at esea contemporary, Manchester, UK (funded by the British Council, UK)

May-20-2023 Qiushi curated “The Inquiry of Noise” Urban Sound Installation Exhibition; Introduction: This exhibition primarily consists of the course works of third-year undergraduates from the School of Design at the Southern University of Science and Technology. In the course of DS313 Sound and Senses, students designed and created sound installations to convey their reflections on and criticism of urban environmental issues. In addition, several local sound installation artists were invited to join the exhibition, which together voice their focus on and concerns over urban environmental issues through the form of sound installation. Role: Qiushi took the responsibility of curator and organizer, and co-curated with LI Yang, Curator of Shenzhen Urban Sound Museum; Location: Shenzhen Urban Sound Museum; Social Impact: This exhibition was the first local sound installation exhibition in Shenzhen, which had a great social impact and was vigorously reported by eight media including Shenzhen Economic Daily, Crystal Daily, Shenzhen Special Zone Daily, South +, and so on. Duration: May 20 to June 20.

May-11-2023 Qiushi was invited to give a lecture at Beijing Institute of Technology, Title: “Is that Piano You Hear a Piano? Technical Revolution and the Shift of Art Paradigm”

Apr-14-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser presents “‘Megaphoned Voices’ Amongst Skyscrapers: Mapping the Provisional Sound Infrastructure of the Pandemic in Shenzhen” at SCMS Society for Cinema & Media Studies annual conference, Denver, USA

Apr-11-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser delivers talk at CSUSB California State University, San Bernardino, Dept. of Music

Mar-31-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser delivers talk at CUHK Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Music, Shenzhen, “Music, AI, and Code”

Mar-18-2023 Qiushi was invited to give a talk on Sound Symposium of the 9th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB), Title: “Urban Noise and the Studiolization of Nature” 

Mar-07-2023 Marcel Zaes Sagesser delivers talk at NYU New York University Shanghai, Department of Humanities, Talk “Music & Coding”

Mar-02-2023 Binghuang XU + Marcel Zaes Sagesser deliver talk “New Media Art: Imagining Place Through Sound” at USST University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, College of Communication and Art Design, China

Feb-28-2023 Enza Migliore, Hanyu Qu, and Marcel Zaes Sagesser present A Grain of: A Multimodal Representation of the City’s Ecology Through Material and Sound. At TEI ’23: Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’23), February 26 - March 1, 2023, , Warsaw, Poland. ACM, New York, NY, USA.

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