My name is Elissa Sophia Assaf. I have recently graduated from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut with a degree in Interior Architecture. I had pursuied Law studies at first, which has mainly nurtured my interest in linguistics before laying the foundations for a career in arts. (This last statement makes me sound very confident about where I am going whereas I am not, hence the very short introduction. Challenging myself to "making (almost) anything” right now could bring solutions to a lot of these unanswered questions). I will be following the contextual design masters program at Design Academy Eindhoven in the coming September. After that, I would like to invest myself in a field where design serves sustainability and empathetic purposes.

During my free time, I enjoy trying out percussion instruments (African and Brazilian) and discovering new beats to challenge myself with. I also enjoy playing Capoeira which combines martial arts, dancing and some more beats, all of which I find very instructive, interactive and most of all captivating.

It is my big interest and thrill for industrial design, and fabrication in all its aspects that initially motivated me to apply for this program but it is the versatility and its multiple facets that attracted me the most. I have always been interested in realizing projects from scratch and developing the conceptual to the concrete; in this case inputting technical, mechanical and digital skills into an abstract idea to go forward with the actualization of the product. With its unique hands-on approach and its great creative and generous culture, Fab Academy would be the perfect setting in which I would learn to leverage those skills in a fast-paced environment and with access to all sorts of open source tools.


As a final project, I would like to explore in the interaction between sound and light (Initially I wanted to work on use of noise pollution in big cities as a sustainable source of energy, but it is practically impossible at the time being or on a small scale because the energy it would provide would be insignificant).

Ideally, I would be building a prototype that would translate the multiple sounds of percussion instruments into different colors of light in separate modules depending on the pitch of the sound wave. For instance, the base, the tone and the slap when playing the djembe would translate into different colors, hence coding the music that is being played into light and resulting only from the interaction of the players with this prototype.

It can also be used outdoors to measure noise pollution (car honking, vibrations from traffic jams etc...), or indoors during gatherings, where high pitch laughs and background chattering, for instance, would also convert into different light colours in the different modules.

If I manage, I would like to expand that data visualization, taking into consideration other components like the level of CO2 in the air and the data collected from the air pollution.

This prototype through interaction with its surroundings would be depicting as well as enhancing an atmosphere at a given space and time with a lighting game of warm and cool color tones.

As for the design of this prototype, although I'm still not sure of the final shapes, I have an outline in mind that is inspired by the shape of soundwaves as well as the fractal configurations found in trees.

Trees are known to absorb noise and air pollution and in this case, assembling the different-sized modules on a vertical plane would generate an outline that resembles that of willow trees.