13-16 September 2010
Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Design
London Metropolitan University
Field Studies 2010 is a four-day field-recording workshop led by three acclaimed sound artists and composers (Marc Behrens, Justin Bennet, John Levack Drever). It aims to explore recording as a creative and practical tool for artists, architects and urbanists, and the possibilities of working with sound as a means to engage with places and people.
Sound is gaining renewed attention within the context of architecture, the city and the built environment. There are practical reasons, such as the importance for architects and urbanists to be able to create positive, or manage negative soundscapes and noise in the city. The question of where sound ends and noise begins is an interesting topic in itself and belongs to the more poetic side of sound in the built environment. Thinking about sound means to engage with ephemeral aspects of places, particularly the changing character of the built environment over time, which traditional visual media cannot represent. Sound, harmony and music are intimately connected with culture and the question of good and bad sound is politically charged. Each revolution has its own music. If we listen, rather than look, there is a whole new and curious world to be discovered.
Field Studies provides an environment to engage with all these questions starting from a much more practical point of view. How can listening to the city and working with recorded sound become part of the creative process of making architecture? How does working with sound affect the way we engage with places? Can there be such a thing as an ‘aural sketchbook’ and of what value can it be to architects and urbanists? Can sound act as a research tool and a means to represent architectural ideas? What would future urban plans and the built environment look like if they relied on sound as much as on drawings, photographs and models?
Field Studies is for everyone who is interested in learning more about the practical and technical aspects of field recording and the potential of recorded sound as part of a creative and analytical process in architecture and urbanism. The course will be run in the form of masterclasses lead by the three tutors where students will meet different approaches to working with sound, collecting material and recording techniques. Each masterclass will establish a different brief. Students will go out on field-recording trips and learn how to manipulate, edit and present recorded material. A series of talks will complement the programme and the students’ work will be published and documented online.