Interventions to transform the acoustic space of a campus site
Soundscape Studies students in the School of Architecture & Design at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia were asked to create a soundscape intervention to transform the acoustic space of a campus site. The site is a social space activated by markets, student activities and conversation; however, a loud exhaust fan outlet creating a lo-fi environment dominates the acoustic space of the site.
Students were asked to create a soundscape intervention in the space, in response to an imaginative-artistic approach to acoustic ecology: the exhaust outlet is the voice of the city, speaking; can this voice be deciphered, transformed, augmented? Students responded with live sound-art, musical and electroacoustic performances played through loudspeakers placed adjacently to the exhaust outlet, and transformations of the environment with physical sound-making objects that people could interact with. The intervention project was informed by the acoustic ecology movement’s maxim that anyone who cares to listen is a soundscape designer; as such students were encouraged to listen, apropos, creatively respond to the dominant sound of the space.