Read more about (and watch and listen to) DIACYCLES, an awesome project by Ines Marita Schärer (DAI, 2018) for which she collaborated with composer Julian Zehnder and with children and the teachers of of the elementary school Spiegel Köniz. "The bell has a specific task in everyday school life; it functions as a time marker, which marks the beginning and end of each lesson. But how can a break bell be rethought and composed in a contemporary learning environment, as well as support and accompany the schoolchildren and teachers in their everyday life? These questions were decisive for the newly developed concept; instead of an authoritarian signal, the bell is to be understood as a pulsating element that invites, be it to gather and learn together, to take a break or to go home. This approach takes into account natural rhythms, such as the times of day, moods, learning phases, etc. The project leaves the signal as an organ of control and proposes an acoustic experience characterized by a collective listening: depending on the time of day and the mood, both calm and animating spheres of sound are heard, lasting several minutes."

| tag: Bern

"These acoustic events create a collective rhythm and synchronize arriving and leaving, beginning and ending, focusing and relaxing. The sounds do not fall silent, but continue to resonate outside: an installation built into the canopy processes past ring tones in real time, leading to the next signal in constantly transforming sound textures. The compositional design of the installation is left to a specially developed computer program that behaves dynamically and unpredictably, similar to a natural network. Thus, the sound events, together with the installation on the outdoor area, have a presence, are accompanying, like the breathing of an organism, and animate the substance of the new architecture.
In a one-week cycle, the ringtones change continuously. This temporal accompaniment in the daily school routine trusts in attentive, mindful listening; the students are not patronized, but should be able to develop in their autonomy and self-responsibility. The conception and elaboration has been developed in exchange with the schoolchildren as well as various pedagogues.

In our society, the design of functional signals, as well as the conception of acoustic spaces in general, is strongly neglected. The work brings these marginalized sensory levels into focus, sensitizes and encourages close listening. The artistic project, which nevertheless has a functional role in everyday school life, also has the potential to be an identity-forming feature of the school for outsiders as well as for the schoolchildren and staff."

From Ines Marita Schärer's Newsletter: 

Development and composition of the school bell, Schule Spiegel bei Bern, in collaboration with Julian Zehnder, Completion March 2022

This «Art and Architecture» project has accompanied me for more than 4 years now and had its constant place in my mind and heart. There have been many obstacles, but also so much encouragement and support and enthusiasm, especially now, after the completion, which officially took place two weeks ago. But the urgency of this project has always driven me forward!

I am very glad and honoured to have been able to collaborate with Julian Zehnder. Many many thanks also to Laurent Güdel, for his support in working out the concept for the competition and the development in the initial phase. Vera Trachsel for her artistic and pedagogical support for the project days with the children, the children of the school itself for their cooperation and curiosity, and the teachers for their support!
Idea, concept and project management: Ines Marita Schärer
Concept and composition: Julian Zehnder

As part of the Kunst-am-Bau competition for the new building of the elementary school Spiegel Köniz, my concept for an artistic elaboration of the new school bell was selected. For the conception and realization I invited the composer Julian Zehnder.