Water Topophony

  • topophonie de l'eau - banniere

Water Topophony

Water Topophony is an augmented reality sound experience that links wandering and listening. This project is part of the ANR program: CONTINT (Digital Content and Interactions). The project was presented at the festival Futur en Seine 2011.  

Water Topophony sets up a soundscape composed of water streams in an urban space. The slopes of Belleville in Paris evoke the winding paths of the water to the names of the streets: rue des Cascades, rue des Rigoles, rue de la Duée. Two realities are superimposed on this territory: a mineral space that is essential on the surface, an invisible liquid space made up of sources and aqueducts in the basement. Water Topophony proposes to evoke this liquid space on the surface by staging a navigable soundscape using a smartphone-type mobile phone. The device thus encourages the user to explore and reveals hidden dimensions of a familiar urban space.

Orbe won Grand Prix of Innovation of the city of Paris 2013 with a special Design Mention for Water Topophony.

Credits & partners

Diffusion Orbe
Partners IRCAM, ENSCI-les Ateliers, LIMSI, Navidis, User Studio

The experimenters of Water Topophony talk about experience.

Images of Water Topophony


Official website orbe.mobi
Webite Topophonie


Water Topophony is available for free on the App Store

Practical information

Audience All
Material iPhone
Access Parc de Belleville, Couronne (line 2), Belleville (lines 2 and 11), Pyrénées (line 11)


Water Topophony was the subject of a free event in June 2012.

June 2012.