Designers announced for BBC Radio 4’s The Listening Project

The designers have been announced for BBC Radios 4’s The Listening Project mobile recording ‘pod’, a mobile space in which people around the UK will volunteer to record intimate conversations.

Mock-up of the pod in a meadow
Mock-up of the pod in a meadow

The winner of an RIBA competition launched in March is a team led by JaK Studio with Seymour Powell, Light IQ and Delicious Digital, London.

The other shortlisted competitors were Patalab Architecture and Henry Williams with Max Fordham Engineers.

The chosen design takes the form of a caravan-like pod, based on the shape of a speech bubble.

The 'log fire' in the pod's interior
Thought bubble detail

 Jacob Low, JaK Studio partner, says, ‘The initial idea was the speech bubble itself as a shape and form. We wanted to use something familiar, so it’s a caravan of sorts.

‘Mobile homes aren’t the most trendy of things but we wanted something that could travel and have a sprit and character of its own in a clever and slick way.’

Mock-up of the pod in a shopping mall
Mock-up of the pod in a shopping mall

The interiors of the pod house a recording studio, decorated in a way that feels neutral but ‘homely’, according to Low.

He says, ‘We wanted to have touches of domesticity, so added the wood burner to give the feeling of almost home from home. It’s an intimate space where two people that love each other can share intimate stories.’

The 'log fire' in the pod's interior
The ‘log fire’ in the pod’s interior

Keith Williams, RIBA adviser, adds, ‘The selected scheme is a wonderful fusion of sophisticated product design and wittily conceived caricature. Its typological familiarity as a caravan makes it easy to engage with, yet its external expression and strong identity mark out its special purpose as a transitory BBC studio.’

The pod's interior
The pod’s interior

The pod is due for completion this autumn, and is set to travel for two years.

Latest articles