The future of audio-visual designers with a focus on sound

  • Jorge Lensing Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts


Sound designers have historically been associated primarily with the realm of films, TV-movies, and series production. However, the scope of their influence is expanding significantly beyond these domains. Notably, professionals in the fields of museum curation, festivals, theatres, and planetariums are increasingly recognizing the transformative potential of incorporating audio-visual elements into their presentations, thereby enhancing the overall quality of audience engagement.

Traditionally, many museums have relied on subpar audio guides and monotonous recordings played through inadequate loudspeakers to accompany their exhibits. In stark contrast, innovative exhibition concepts are foregrounding the profound impact of audio-visual installations. These installations completely rethink exhibition experiences, offering visitors entirely new dimensions of engagement within the realms of art, history, and science.

In the context of planetariums, a substantial majority of shows continue to feature cosmological themes and scientific narratives presented in full-dome environments. Nevertheless, universities and younger audio-visual designers are now pioneering groundbreaking advancements in immersive audio-visual experiences.

The evolution of theatre is yet another arena undergoing a profound metamorphosis due to the integration of audio-visual elements. As multimedia theatre forms such as picture theatre, new music theatre, and dance theatre increasingly embrace interactive electronic media, the traditional theatrical experience is undergoing a paradigm shift. This departure from convention is ushering in a new era of audio-visual performance quality that transcends prior artistic boundaries.

Given these transformative trends, the study of sound design is compelled to evolve in tandem. Incorporating visual tasks into the curriculum is becoming imperative, as sound designers navigate these innovative frontiers of multimedia integration. By embracing cross-disciplinary approaches that encompass both sonic and visual dimensions, aspiring sound designers will be better equipped to shape the future of immersive audio-visual storytelling across a diverse array of creative platforms.

Author Biography

Jorge Lensing, Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Jorge Lensing was born in Düsseldorf in 1960. Grew up in Düsseldorf as the son of a craftsman and a cartographer. 1975, discovered creativity with his first music teacher Frank Köllges (percussion/drums). 1980s, studied composition/electronic music at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen (Prof. Wolfgang Hufschmidt & Prof. Dirk Reith), and master student of New Music Theatre (with Prof. Mauricio Kagel – Musikhochschule Köln).1987, foundation of the Düsseldorf THEATER DER KLÄNGE, of which he is still artistic director. 1993, theatre lecturer (first international Bauhaus Stage class) at the Bauhaus Dessau. As of 1996 professor of sound design at Fachhochschule Dortmund – University of Applied Sciences and Arts. Married to the dancer and choreographer
Jacqueline Fischer (two children).