City Soundscapes

An Acoustic Perceptual Space of‭ ‬TAIPEI

Taipei, Taiwan
Department of Architecture, Tunghai University 2015
Advisor: Chao-Hsien Yeh

“The body is our general medium for having a world.”
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty,
Phenomenology of Perception

This project intended to reconnect human body with nature by manipulating the relationship between hearing and soundscape. The body and environment are both subject and object.
Urban does not exit exclude the nature, instead, they coexist in a particular and harmonic way. They are composed of the growth and decline of artificial and natural factors in the environment. The idea of this dynamic urban situation is defined in this project as the “genuine status”.
Humans perceive the genuine environment primitive with the five senses, and the original experience came from the perceptions. However, as civilization advances, we gradually become less sensitive with our senses.

In the left diagram, the boundaries and territories of cities and nature are clearly demarcated.

“Cities and natures: intimate strangers”, Steve Hinchliffe

However, if we see in in a different scale, instead of separating city and nature with clear boundary (left), the genuine status of cities are considered closer to the right diagram, in which nature is saw as both inside and outside the city.

The study of soundscape considers sound as a part of the environment. Soundscape shows the modernity of the environment which reflects the trace of human history. Soundscape is a dynamic structure which reflects the environment under all kinds of influence, in every moment. “City Soundscapes: An Acoustic Perceptual Space of Taipei” - the dynamic stage of the soundscape composed by the environment as well as the users. It was an urban scale sound installation serie. The acoustic principles of several instruments were extracted and applied to the prototypes of the four pavilions. The pavilions interpreted the genuine status of the specific context into sound, then created a situation where users are involved in the environment as subjects and objects.