Sound, Architecture and the Centre for Creative Arts

Sound, Architecture and the Centre for Creative Arts Workshop

Workshop hosted by Music and Sound scholars at Leeds Beckett University on 15 March 2017

Workshop programmed and led by Matt Green

In attendance from outside Music: Sam Beddingfield and Michelle Tomlinson from Hawkins/Brown Architects, Lee Kirby of ARUP, Sue Ball of MAAP, Andrew Wilson of Superposition, Sarah Lappin of Queens University Belfast, Andy Abbott of the University of Bradford, Alex De Little of the University of Leeds, Alan Dunn from Art and Design at Leeds Beckett and Ben Dalton from Computing. 

10 – 1015 : Intro to the day
1015 – 1030 : Short presentation by Dr Sarah Lappin
1030 – 1130 : Show and Tell
1130 – 1215 : Sound walk activity
1215 – 1245 : Building Presentation
1330 – 1400 : Introduction to afternoon activity
1400 – 1530 : Idea/Design Activity
1530 – 1600 : Round up

The workshop concerned the Centre for Creative Arts (CCA), 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. 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.

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.