Past studios

Sound based studios in design and architecture at RMIT date back to the late 1990s when Sir Jonathan Mills AO FRSE started the Australasian Soundscape Project after he attended the 1993 Tuning of the World Conference in Banff.  Several design studios were taught into the Architecture and Interior Design programs from the mid-1990’s to early 2000’s by Robyn Lines, Jonathan Mills, Neil McLachlan and guests based in the Faculty of the Environmental Design and Construction, since restructured as the College of Design and Social Context.


When SIAL Sound Studios was established in the early 2000’s larger groups of students could work directly with electroacoustic technologies for recording, producing and measuring sound for acoustic environment studies. This led to new teaching topics e.g. games engines as platforms for spatial sound investigations and urban sound interventions.


Since the mid 1990s more than 30 academics have delivered design studios, electives and post-graduate supervision on sound based topics in the School of Architecture and Design. A core group of sound-based practitioners have maintained an electroacoustic studio in the school since the late 1990s, and collaborated with staff and guests on teaching and research projects across Interior, Industrial, Fashion and Architecture in the School of Architecture & Urban Design and now School of Design.


A brief history is presented in this video-lecture – Lawrence Harvey: Part Two – Teaching Spatial Sound. This talk was prepared from interviews with key academics including Leon van Schaik to trace the origins of the sound program now in the School of Design, and includes a timeline of past teaching and selected research activity in sound in design.


For two early papers on sound in design at RMIT, see:

1. Lines, R. and McLachlan, N. (1997) Acoustic Design at RMIT University in Acoustics Australia.
2. van Schaik, L. (1994) Sound of Space in Art and Australia.

Voicing the Sonic


Museum of Sound




The Future Sound of Cities


Memory Games


Selected papers on teaching sound in design:

Voicing the Sonic: a case study of the RMIT Sonic Arts Collection and the Speaker Orchestra
Harvey, L. Buckingham, J. Bartolomei, L. Lever, G. Peters, J.
Conference publication: ACUADS, Australian Council of University Art & Design Schools.
Revoicing the urban soundscape: a case study of soundscape design interventions at RMIT University
Lacey, J.
Conference proceeding: Proceedings of the 2012 the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media (Cumulus) Northern World Mandate Conference (Cumulus 2012), pp.1-9; Cumulus 2012: Towards open and participative cities (Helsinki, Finland, 24/05/2012 - 26/05/2012)
Ephemeral envelopment: the electroacoustic music studio in a school of spatial studies
Harvey, L. Fowler, M. Murray, N.
Conference proceeding: Architecture, Music, Acoustics (Toronto, Canada, 08/06/2006 - 11/06/2006)
Resounding Cities: Acoustic Ecology and Games Technology
Harvey, L. Moloney, J.
Book chapter: Building Sustainable Communities: Environmental Justice and Global Citizenship, pp.181-196
The aural eye: soundscape practice and pedagogy in design education
Harvey, L.
Journal Article: Idea, Vol.2005, pp.129-138
Implementing Nonlinear Sound Strategies within Spatial Design: Learning sound and spatial design within a collaborative virtual environment
More, G. Harvey, L. Moloney, J. Burry, M.
Conference paper: MelbourneDAC 2003 streamingworlds: 5th International Digital Arts & Culture Conference, RMIT University, School of Applied Communication, Melbourne, Australia