According to Gregory Kramer, founder of ICAD, sonification is an effective instrument for presenting data in the form of non-linguistic sound events and has the potential to enable a hitherto unattained access to highly complex, multidimensional, scientific information. It is a young discipline that up to now has been struggling with considerable difficulties regarding its legitimacy and serious problems connected with the theory of knowledge. Sonification methods, which are referred to as the acoustic counterpart to visual representation, are perceived by science subjectively. Where does this mistrust come from? What has been researched to date? Are there basic limits to the auditory production of knowledge? Does the acoustic turn have a right to exist alongside the pictorial turn? What are its strengths and weaknesses? The objective of this paper is to examine sonification as a method of cognition and as a presentation medium, in order to review their use in design.
In this connection, alongside a brief insight into its history, a number of observations are made in the first part regarding the current status of interdisciplinary acoustic research, and the second part explicitly deals with sonification in science. In doing so, different areas of application and techniques are presented. The sense of hearing is also examined as a cognitive tool and as an analogy to visual representation. Why is the use of our hearing relevant? How can visual methods be applied to sonification? After presenting application examples and methods of auditory displays that describe how data can be depicted acoustically, answers to the previously posed questions are formulated in the third part using a practical case as an example. After evaluation of the thesis, the final part concludes with a summary as well as some thoughts and ideas about possible future perspectives.