Earconography (Final degree project)

EARCONOGRAPHY PROVIDES TREATMENT FOR ALL THREE AREAS OF EAR HEALTH.

THE OUTER EAR – EAR CARE (WAX FLUSHING, INFECTION)

THE INNER EAR – AUDIOLOGY (HEARING AID, COCHLEA IMPLANT)

THE NERVES AND BRAIN – SOUND THERAPY (SENSORY IMPROVEMENT/ EXPERIENCE, AILMENTS SUCH AS TINNITUS)

MOST OF THESE ACTIVITIES TAKE PART IN A ONE-ON-ONE CELLULAR ENVIRONMENT, SOME NEED COMPLETE SOUND SEPERATION AND INTERNAL SOUND ABSORBTION, SOME NEED VISUAL PRIVACY, BUT ALL WILL NEED AN ACOUSTIC ENVIRONMENT WHICH ALLOWS FOR EASY CONVERSATION WITH PERSONS WHO ARE HARD OF HEARING.

ALONGSIDE THE PRIVATE TREATMENT ROOMS ARE ALSO PUBLIC ACTIVITES.

THE SOUND BEAM PROJECT IS A TECHNOLOGY THAT ALLOWS YOU TO MAKE MUSIC USING YOUR MOVEMENTS. AN INVISIBLE BEAM IS FIRED THROUGH SPACE, CONTACT WITH WHICH TRIGGERS SOUND AND VISUALS. THIS EXPERIENCE IS OFTEN PRIMARILY OFFERED TO THOSE WITH LEARNING DIFFICULTIES AND MOVEMENT ISSUES, WHICH OFTEN ACCOMPANY PROBLEMS WITH HEARING AND EYESIGHT. SOUND BEAM IS ALSO USED TO HELP WITH BALANCE AND COORDINATION ISSUES, WHICH HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH DEAFNESS.

SOUND THERAPY IS OFTEN CONDUCTED SIMPLY BY LISTENING TO RECORDED SOUNDS ON A PERSONAL STEREO. THIS MEANS  LISTENING STATIONS ARE PROVIDED SO THAT CUSTOMERS CAN SAMPLE BEFORE THEY BUY. THE LISTENING STATIONS MAY BE USED FOR SOMEONE TO SPEND A WHILE OR FOR PEOPLE QUICKLY PASSING THROUGH.

A SOUND ART EXHIBITION BECOMES THE BACKDROP FOR EARCONOGRAPHY. SOUND ART IS AN AREA WITHIN FINE ART THAT EXPLORES THE LIMITS AND THE JOY OF SOUND. THE PIECES RANGE FROM AUDIO AND VISUAL PROJECIONS TO SCULPTURE WHICH DOES AND DOESN’T MAKE SOUND. THIS EXHIBITION WILL INCULDE MANY HANGING PIECES, MOST SIGNIFICANT OF WHICH IS A FULLY SUSPENDED GRAND PIANO. THE SOUND ART ELEMENT IS DESIGNED TO BE THE EXPERIENCE WITH WHICH TO TEST YOUR NEWLY ENHANCED SENSE.

THEN THERE IS RETAIL. EARCONOGRAPHY WILL SHOWCASE A RANGE OF DESIGNER HEAR WEAR PRODUCTS. SOME AIDS ASSIST WITH HEARING IMPAIRMENT, OTHERS ENHANCE NORMAL RANGE AUDIOLOGICAL EXPERIENCE. THEY ARE OBJECTS THAT BLUR THE LINE BETWEEN THE MEDICAL AND RECREATIONAL.

THE HEARING AIDS ARE PRESENTED IN CONTRAST TO AN EXHIBTION OF ANTIQUE HEARING AIDS, ENHANCING THEIR SOPHISTICATION AND GIVING A HISTORICAL BACKDROP.

LOCATION

EARCONOGRAPHY IS LOCATED IN BRISTOL’S ARTS QUARTER, STOKES CROFT. IT SITS ACROSS THE SQUARE FROM THE CENTER FOR THE DEAF, A STONES THROW AWAY FROM THE ROYAL INFIRMARY, AND OPPOSITE THE CENTER FOR MODERN MUSIC.

THE BUILDING

THE BUILDING WAS BUILT AS A BOTTLING PLANT FOR WHITTARDS IN 1910. IT HAS SUBSEQUENTLY, AND TILL NOW BEEN USED AS A WORKSHOP FOR MAKING GEARS.

IT CONSISTS OF A RED BRICK ‘L’ SHAPE WITH A NEWER GARAGE ‘PLUGGED’ ONTO THE NORTH FACADE.

IT IS SPLIT OVER TWO FLOORS, WITH A FURTHER LEVEL DIFFERENCE TO THE GROUND FLOOR.

IT HAS NO INTERNAL SUPPORTING WALLS. THE CAST CONCRETE FLOOR IS SUPPORTED ON RSJ’S.  OAK BEAMS SPAN BETWEEN THE MASONRY BUTTRESSES.

THE ARCH FRONTED SE FACADE HAS A RUSTICATED BASE AND SETS OF TWO WINDOWS IN EACH ARCH. ONE TO THE BASEMENT AND ONE TO THE GROUND FLOOR. THERE IS NO NATURAL LIGHT ENTERING INTO THE N/ NW OF THE SPACE.

TO THE NW THERE IS A YARD. THIS HAS A RED BRICK LEAN-TOO WITH ACCESS FROM THE MAIN SPACE. FROM THE NW WALL THERE IS ALSO ACCESS TO A ROOM WHICH IS PART OF THE NEXT DOOR TERRACED HOUSE.

CONCEPT

THE FORMS IN THIS BREIF HAVE TAKEN MANY SHAPES. I ESTABLISHED A LAYOUT, CIRCULATION AND THE MAKE UP OF EACH AREA WITHIN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FORM, ONE WHICH WAS SUCCESFUL IN SOME WAYS BUT TO ME HAD NO RESONANCE OR POETRY. IN A WAY IT WAS TOO OBVIOUS, THE HEART OF THIS BRIEF IS IN SOMETHING FOLDING CURVING AND ENCLOSING. THERE IS CLEARLY A RELASIONSHIP TO THE FOLDING FORMS OF THE EAR, HUMAN CELLS, THE SILICONE FITTER ON A HEARING AID, A HAND CUPPED AROUND AN EAR TO AMPLIFY A SOUND, BUT MOST OF ALL THE UNBROKEN ORGANIC FORMS PROVIDE SAFE ENCLOSING SPACES IN WHICH TO DEAL WITH THINGS WHICH ARE INTIMATE AND OFTEN DIFFICULT.

I HAVE HALF ONE SIDED TOTAL DEAFNESS. WHEN I WALK INTO MY HOUSE AND SHOUT HELLO! I HAVE LITERALLY NO IDEA WHERE THE RESPONSE COMES FROM. THE OTHER PERSON CAN BE IN ROOM TO MY RIGHT OR AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS TO MY LEFT. THERE IS NO CAPACITY IN MY ONE EAR TO GUIDE ME TO THE SOURCE OF THE SOUND. FOR THIS REASON I FELT THE WAYFINDING ASPECT OF THIS BREIF WAS VERY IMPORTANT. FOR THOSE WITH SOME SENSORY DEPREVATION YOU BECOME VERY RELIANT ON ANOTHER SENSE. THE FORM IS HERE TO GUIDE YOU, AND TO COMMUNICATE ACTIVITIES TAKING PLACE.

FINALLY THE FORM NEEDS TO PROVIDE FOR A WIDE VARIETY OF SOUND SPACES AND PHYSICAL ACTIVIES. THE CURVING FORMS ALLOW FOR DEEP PRIVATE ROOMS FOR PERSONAL CONSULTATIONS OPENING OUT INTO HUGE VOIDS WHERE ARE SOUND ART PIECE CAN BE SUSPENDED.

KEY MOVES

FIRSTLY IT WAS IMPORTANT TO GET LIGHT INTO THE BUILDING. THE ARCHED SE FAÇADE IS OPENED UP WITH FULL GLAZING AND A VOID CUT TO LET LIGHT INTO THE BASEMENT.

THE YARD TO THE NW IS REMOVED, THE ARCHES WHICH MIRROR THE SE FAÇADE ARE OPENED UP AND LIGHT IS LET INTO THIS SIDE OF THE BUILDING.

THEN THE FORM BEGINS TO ATTATCH TO, AND SHAPE THE VOIDS. CONVERTING INTO SMALL ROOMS AND OPEN VOIDS.

DESIGN

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