Speculative Auditory Experiences

Using sound to explore place, history, site and future.

Speculative auditory experiences invite students to rethink, and reimagine, the auditory conditions of Batman Park – a small urban park situated within the Melbourne metropolitan environment along the northern bank of the Yarra River. Nestled between three major transport lines, Spencer Street, Kings Way and Flinders Street Viaduct. These boundaries create a visual and auditory barrier that isolates the park from its immediate surroundings.

With the concept of ‘designing connection’ as a key focus, this studio explores the design of immersive and engaging auditory environments that evoke a sense of connection to the sites history whilst looking forward to a potential future within the Melbourne metropolitan environment.

Partnered with ARUP Acoustics, this studio links creative sound practice to the ideas that help shape and foster engaging, inclusive, and connected urban environments, with guest talks scheduled throughout the semester. Each talk aims to provide insight into real-world projects and how to approach designing meaningful spaces within the urban environment.

In this studio you will undertake research for tracing how Batman Park has transformed over time, examining the sites history in-connection to it’s present form today. To guide your research, you will be required to focus your work on one of the following thematic prompts; Socio-cultural activities, environmental features (ecological/climate), or, physical adjoining spaces.

You will be introduced to soundscape, electroacoustic and sound design methods which you will apply for designing a sonic environment that responds to your earlier research emphasising the idea of reconnection using one of the thematic prompts. Reimagining a potential future will adopt a sensorial approach using sound and mixed media to support a speculative design proposition that can either work with the site, in the site, or as a provocation.

The design outcomes might range from in situ physical or electroacoustic installations, locative media or other virtual experiences, on site and/or connecting to a remote location. Batman park is the starting location through which to explore ideas of place, history and future occupation.


Lecturers: Jeff Hannam, Lawrence Harvey

Guest lecturers: Terry Ryan, Sophie Gleeson, ARUP Acoustics

Semester 1, 2023