In March of 2017, the author hosted a workshop concerning sound, architecture and the Centre for Creative Arts, a new building scheduled to open 2020 that will house Leeds Beckett University’s School of Film, Music and Performing Arts as well as Fashion. Central to the workshop was ‘acoustic design’, an interdisciplinary practice outlined by R. Murray Schafer that includes “the imaginative placement of sounds to create attractive and stimulating acoustic environments for the future” (Schafer, 1994, p.271). The workshop comprised: an introduction to acoustic design; a soundwalk encompassing sites of acoustic merit within Leeds Beckett’s Headingley Campus; and a design activity that yielded a number of ideas for aural architectures and site-specific sound installations for the forthcoming Centre for Creative Arts. The workshop concluded with discussion of the feasibility and possible impact of acoustic design in the development of the Centre for Creative Arts.
One suggestion made in the workshop was for the Centre for Creative Arts to be a building that respects, advocates and encourages listening. With reference to the content of the workshop, the proposed paper will consider what a space designed for listening may comprise and the value of such a space both in the context of the Centre of Creative Arts and in the broader public realm.
Schafer, R. M. (1994), The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, Destiny Books.
Dr Matt Green is a practice-based researcher concerned with the application of sound and music practices in site-specific endeavour. Matt has collaborated and worked as a solo artist equally. The form of Matt’s practice has varied: Lyre Bird (2005) is a permanent interactive sound installation in the entrance space of Perth Concert Hall, Scotland; whilst Tolka Nights (2015) was event-based and included unconventional art modes such as a pub quiz. The subject, form and content of each work is the outcome of an extensive programme of situated activity that includes field recording; social practice; and onsite research, design and development.