HUSH Unites Sound, Design, and Memories for Augmented Reality ‘Record’, HUSH/LISTEN

Experience design firm HUSH continues its tradition of crafting thoughtful and experimental projects to usher in  the new year with data-rich sonic project, HUSH/LISTEN. 

Reinforcing HUSH’s expertise in data-driven storytelling, the aptly titled HUSH/LISTEN presents a “record” that, through the use of a custom-made Instagram filter, plays an augmented reality musical composition based on the collective experiences and nostalgia of its employees. To do so, HUSH looked internally at the places their employees have called home and the music that defined them there. Using that geographical and musical history data, they designed a “record” that can be played through Instagram’s Spark AR platform. 

“The idea to connect the places we’ve called home with the music that defined those times was a simple methodology to bring back old feelings, and to piece together the places and sounds that formed who we are,” HUSH Creative Partner David Schwarz explains. “Since both of those things – places and sounds – are discrete and quantifiable information, we knew they would be a great input into the design process that would provide data points to turn into something special.”

HUSH/LISTEN is activated when you use the Instagram filter and click, drag and move your finger over the data points of HUSH staff that are on the printed “record” graphic. While this functionality was specifically designed to be simple and easy to use, the process to bring HUSH/LISTEN to life was more complex. This includes making innovative uses of 3D vectors and creating a digital player-piano that connects specific sounds to each person in the data, determining tonal ranges, patterns and symmetry for the “record” visual,” and, perhaps most importantly, creating a streamlined user interface.  

“By calculating the angle between the center of the disc and where the user is touching the screen, we can animate the playhead to determine the sound we hear,” says HUSH Partner Erik Karasyk. “With enough of a spin, the playhead gets a bit of momentum allowing to play the track automatically. This creates two different ways to listen, via passive listening or active exploration.” 

With its sleek, minimal aesthetic inspired by actual vinyl records, HUSH/LISTEN provides a unique audiovisual experience, one which HUSH intends to evolve and expand beyond the data of its internal team. The experience design agency is mailing prints of the trigger graphic to clients and partners and prompting them via QR code to use the Instagram filter to play the data music. Those without the physical “record” can play by simply utilizing the filter by visiting HUSH’s website where the HUSH/LISTEN graphic is featured.

Like its previous ambitious efforts including the augmented reality wishing well VOLO and sustainability-focused Spring Forward, HUSH has designed another inventive project that not only humanizes data, but inspires reflection and creates a compelling, communal experience. According to Schwarz, HUSH/LISTEN not only reflects HUSH’s commitment to internal inspiration, experimentation, testing and, yes, listening, but its ongoing mission to create experimental, unique and thought-provoking work that brands and organizations have come to expect. “There is no way that we can consistently achieve that kind of work – at the scale of investment and risk that our clients demand – without having the appetite for experimentation and muscle memory of the process at the ready. These projects do that. They allow everyone to participate in the core concepts, processes, and ideas that flow through HUSH every day, with just a bit more ownership and personalization in the mix.” 

To check out HUSH/LISTEN for yourself:

See the record graphic here:

Access the LISTEN Instagram filter here:


About HUSH:

HUSH is an experience design firm.

Our mission is to design experiences for the most dynamic organizations in the world.

We leverage creative technology to help our clients communicate their mission, stories, products and services. What we design is both beautiful and functional, and has an impact on the spaces people work, invest, explore and learn.