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Attention — Audio Journal for Architecture
24 minutes | 2 years ago
5A. What is Theory?
This piece asks the question: “what is theory?” It begins by attempting to define “theory” as a term or as a concept, a task that involves addressing ideas of abstraction, generalization, science, discourse, language and rhetoric, as well as the persistent oppositions between theory and practice, theory and history, theory as engaged and instrumental or theory as reflective and critical.
32 minutes | 2 years ago
5B. What is Architectural Theory?
This piece asks the question: “what is architectural theory?” It asks what the phrase “architectural theory” names for us, how architectural theory differs from theory per se, and what are its distinctive features that might remain the same despite changing historical epochs.
25 minutes | 2 years ago
5C. How did Architectural Theory Change over Time?
This piece addresses the question “how has architectural theory changed over time?” In particular, it explores the longue durée of two millennia of architectural writings in the west. In doing so the piece addresses the historicality of architectural theory in the western tradition. It asks what the big paradigm changes are that architectural theory has gone through, how it was different in earlier centuries to now, and whether there are different genres, formats, media, or dominant questions and problems that have defined it in different epochs.
25 minutes | 2 years ago
5D. Is Architectural Theory Western or Global?
This piece asks “is architectural theory Western or can it be global?” This means asking: is theory universal or is it geographically particular? Is theory inherently linked to Western notions of reason, philosophy, metaphysics, historical thought, and critique? And what is the relationship of theory to other modes of thought such as rhetoric, myth, symbolism, proverbs, moral and teachings?
31 minutes | 2 years ago
5E. How do you Teach Architectural Theory?
This piece asks “how do you teach architectural theory?” We ask what are the ways that each person teaches architectural theory in their specific classroom and in their specific school? How do they approach this as a pedagogical challenge? Do they approach architectural theory as something to survey or to explicate (chronologically, thematically, or philosophically), or as something to do, to demonstrate, or to perform in the classroom? And what are the methods that each person uses in the classroom to teach architectural theory?
25 minutes | 2 years ago
5F. What are Architectural Theory Classes for?
This piece asks “what are architectural theory classes for?” What is the purpose of the architectural theory class in relation to architectural design in the curriculum? What is the purpose of the architectural theory class in relation to the formation of the student—their ethical awareness, citizenship, the engendering of their “critical thinking,” even the cultivating of their souls? What is the impact of architectural theory classes on architectural practice once students graduate and work as architects? And does architectural theory make architecture better; both in studio and in the world?
33 minutes | 2 years ago
5G. Is Theory Dead?
This piece asks “is architectural theory dead?” This might seem a strange question to ask given the lengthy discussion throughout the issue. Yet, at the turn of the millennium, a new generation of architectural theorists declared the “end of theory.” Nearly two decades on, a different generation addresses this question again, and asks why there was a perception of decline twenty years ago and whether or not, from our vantage point, this assessment is correct.
37 minutes | 3 years ago
The introductory audio essay illuminates four aspects of sound in physical space—location, size, reverberation and environmental noise—with examples of how composers from across the spectrum of Western art music exploited these phenomena in their music. Acoustician Jürgen Meyer and musicologist Elaine Sisman show how the classical composer Joseph Haydn used space to create musical effects beyond the boundaries of melody, harmony, rhythm and dynamics.
27 minutes | 3 years ago
4B. The Sound of Absence
What is music like without the sound of a space? Historian Emily Thompson discusses the aesthetics, technology and politics of spatial absence at the dawn of the recording era while John and Susan Edwards Harvith explain how musicians coped with, adapted to and sometimes thrived in the acoustically dead confines of the recording studio.
29 minutes | 3 years ago
4C. Even Better than the Real Thing
In the 1950s, classical record producers were fixated on realism, aspiring to put listeners in the ‘best seat of an acoustically perfect hall.’ Not so for John Culshaw, however, a maverick producer who used new stereophonic technology to produce operas that were more dramatic, more spatially immersive and (so he claimed) more faithful to a composer’s intentions. Sonic highlights from Culshaw’s producing career accompany a reading from his two memoirs, ‘Ring Resounding’ and ‘Putting the Record Straight.’
24 minutes | 3 years ago
4D. The Acoustic Orchestrations
The pianist Glenn Gould was dogmatic about his recording setup, placing the microphone as close as possible to his piano to exclude the sound of the surrounding room. That is, until he encountered the music of Alexander Scriabin—Gould felt that no one acoustic could do justice to Scriabin’s mystical musical language, and devised a system of ‘sound cameras’ that could zoom into or zoom out of his piano. Gould’s ambitious ‘Acoustic Orchestrations’ experiment remained unfinished, however, until music professor Paul Théberge discovered it in an archive and brought the project to completion.
25 minutes | 3 years ago
4E. Back, Sax, Space
One day, while practicing the prelude to Bach’s Cello Suite #1, Yasuaki Shimizu accidentally ran his tenor saxophone through a reverb machine. The sound so moved him that he embarked on an odyssey to record each of the six Cello Suites in a different acoustical environment. In this piece, Shimizu takes us into a warehouse, a stone quarry, a mine, a concert hall, a Baroque villa and a Gothic palazzo, showing us how the unique acoustics of each site drew out the emotional nuances of each suite in Bach’s masterwork.
49 minutes | 3 years ago
4F. Free Field / Pressure Field / Diffuse Field
Bad acoustics inspired Daniel Neumann to become a composer and sound artist. After struggling to tame echoes, flutter and too much reverberation as a sound engineer at a nightclub in Leipzig, Daniel embraced these and other acoustical peculiarities and made them the focus of his work. In this piece, Neumann talks about how he uses sound to raise awareness of the idiosyncratic sounds of architectural spaces and plays us an iteration of his piece, ‘Free Field / Pressure Field / Diffuse Field’.
36 minutes | 5 years ago
This piece addresses the term “Postmodernism” its history, legacy, and use within the discourse of architecture.
36 minutes | 5 years ago
This piece addresses the term idea and practice of collecting as a current trope within architectural culture.
26 minutes | 5 years ago
This piece addresses the concept and practice of composition in architectural design. Formerly dominant in Beaux-Arts education and somewhat taboo in functionalist modern architecture, composition was a key feature of postmodern architectural discourse and has returned to prominence in recent years in the work of many young architects.
21 minutes | 5 years ago
This piece addresses contemporary attitudes towards the idea of kitsch within the academy and architectural practice.
28 minutes | 5 years ago
This piece addresses the concept of figuration in architectural discourse today.
24 minutes | 5 years ago
This piece addresses the practice of critique as it still operates within architectural design culture today. It taps a new generation of practitioners as to what they see as their relationship to this tradition.
17 minutes | 5 years ago
This piece addresses the concept of delight in architectural discourse today.
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