GOING PLACES GROWING PLACES

City as a Soundscape

This was a two-year project facilitated by artists Dan Wheatley and Catherine Clements from The Architecture School for Children (TASC) that used the urban built environment as a ‘canvas’ for developing sensory attunement. The project consisted of a collaboration with 8 early years children and staff and parents from an inner-city nursery school to explore the environment in and around their school and compared it with the sensory environment of the city itself with an emphasis on the conceptual and abstract nature of sound. We sought to promote a culture of engagement through sound and practices of listening in which children were conceived as co-curators of spaces rather than passive users. We were interested in learning more on how children perceive, interpret and record sound.

 

For this, the children worked on a series of process-led workshops that sought to enhance sensory awareness, emotions and embodied ideas connected to the experiences of spaces and buildings. We started with a concrete story, moved through different modes of expression provoked by engagements with spaces.

 

The workshops

Sound walks/Soundscapes: Each child made a sound recording in their locale which they translated into drawings/mark making

Sound mapping: exploring perspectives in listening, drawing, photo collage, cartography.

Sound Score: Drawing whilst listening to their soundscapes on different types of surfaces and various scales for large gestural drawing

Immersive environment: The children were mesmerised seeing a film animation of their drawings, sound-scores and photos projected on a large scale over the surfaces of the building and screens, another dimension was added by the children drawing in real time with overhead projectors

 

For this visual essay we will focus on the exploration of two sound walks and related drawings and images.

Concertina of Sounds: the children explored the shape and form of a concertina instrument which led to making paper concertina books, mark making from the sound scores and gestural playing of the book form

 

Playing the Bridge, using the bridge as a musical instrument the children explored the spatial, structural and sensory qualities, making soundscapes, sculptures and drawings.

sound 1.jpg

Figure 1

Figure 2 

CONCERTINA OF SOUNDS

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

PLAYING THE BRIDGE

Figure 6

PLAYING THE BRIDGE 1
PLAYING THE BRIDGE 2

Nursary Fence

Figure 7

REFLECTION 1.jpg

Figure 8

3.jpg
SOUND DRAWINGS IN SPACE

Figure 9

mark making 1.jpg

Figure 10

Creating an Immersive environment

Figure 11

Figure 12

Gallery window of exhibition
a co-collaborative response to the children’s work in a gallery space. Projected images, drawings, models, audio visual sounds and screens

CUBE WINDOW 1.jpg

Figure 13

100 languages

 

NO WAY. THE HUNDRED IS THERE

 

The child

is made of one hundred.

The child has

a hundred languages

a hundred hands

a hundred thoughts

a hundred ways of thinking

of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred

ways of listening

of marveling of loving

a hundred joys

for singing and understanding

a hundred worlds

to discover

a hundred worlds

to invent

a hundred worlds

to dream.

The child has

a hundred languages

(and a hundred hundred hundred more)

but they steal ninety-nine.

 

The school and the culture

separate the head from the body.

They tell the child:

to think without hands

to do without head

to listen and not to speak

to understand without joy

to love and to marvel

only at Easter and Christmas.

They tell the child:

to discover the world already there

and of the hundred

they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:

that work and play

reality and fantasy

science and imagination

sky and earth

reason and dream

are things

that do not belong together.

 

And thus they tell the child

that the hundred is not there.

The child says:

No way. The hundred is there.

 

Loris Malaguzzi   (translated by Lella Gandini)