Public Patch Bay: Acoustic Design Ideas for a…

Green, M.K. (2017) Public Patch Bay: Acoustic Design Ideas for a Communal Space for Sound Creativity. In: Sounding Out the Space: An International Conference on the Spatiality of Sound, November 2-4, 2017, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), Dublin.


The paper concerns the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), a new building scheduled to open 2020 and which will house Leeds Beckett University’s School of Film, Music and Performing Arts as well as Fashion. A major desire for the new building is to bring the school and its students in to greater contact with the public. Accordingly, the new building is to include a number of public amenities and spaces including a theatre, black box theatre and cinema as well as an atrium, foyer and café/bar area.

In March of 2017, the author hosted a workshop concerning sound, architecture and the CCA. 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 commenced with insight into what acoustic design is and as to the history and future of acoustic design, its principles and practices in architecture and urban planning. Following this, the feasibility and possible impact of acoustic design in the development of the CCA was debated. The day ended with a design activity that yielded a number of ideas for aural architectures and site-specific sound installations in the communal spaces of the CCA.

The paper accounts the workshop. In accordance with the workshop, the paper commences with an overview of acoustic design. A discussion of the workshop activity then follows, which includes reference to inspirational work that may be considered acoustic design.

Schafer, R. M. (1994), The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, Destiny Books.