4 Takes on Why Sound Design Is Crucial to Good Architecture

4 Takes on Why Sound Design Is Crucial to Good Architecture
reSITE's RESONATE conference was held at the MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Image © Joel Felipe

What is the role of sound and acoustics in the work of leading architecture practices? In February this year, reSITE and MAAT in collaboration with Meyer Sound hosted RESONATE: Thinking Sound and Space, a conference focused exclusively on the intersection of architecture and sound.

Elizabeth Diller of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Snøhetta's Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Michael Jones from Foster + Partners, the founders of Meyer Sound, and the pioneer of sound art Bernhard Leitner spoke with reSITE and Canal 180 at MAAT Museum in Lisbon, Portugal. Below are the 4 episodes in the series, where they discuss the role of sound in designing cultural venues and concert halls and the changing role of the architect in an age of specialization:

Elizabeth Diller, Founding Partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro

As architects, you really want to be the driver of content.

Elizabeth Diller, founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, elucidates the importance of sound in architecture and the evolving role of the architect in an increasingly multidisciplinary world.

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, Founding Partner and Architect at Snøhetta

Architecture in many ways is the art of prepositions.

Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, founding partner and architect at Snøhetta, emphasizes the importance of “transpositioning” in an increasingly specialized world to ensure architecture remains collaborative and interdisciplinary. Kjetil also encourages the use of all senses, especially sound, in his work.

Foster + Partners and Meyer Sound

We can create spaces that will take people into environments that they’ve never experienced...

In this episode Michael Jones, senior partner at London-based Foster + Partners, founders of Meyer Sound John and Helen Meyer and senior engineer and project director at Meyer Sound John Pellowe all discuss aspects of sound design. Michael Jones delves into the challenges of designing the Bloomberg building, while Meyer Sound experts explain the “invisible architecture” of their Constellation Acoustic System.

Bernhard Leitner

For me, sound is a building material.

Austrian-born artist Bernhard Leitner talks about his sound spaces with reSITE and Canal 180 at RESONATE. Using the “vocabulary of sound,” Leitner discusses how he uses sound to define space and create completely new worlds.


The short films series RESONATE Talking Sound and Space is a reSITE and Canal 180 co-production in collaboration with Meyer Sound.
Produced & Directed by Canal180
Creative and editorial lead: Radka Ondrackova, Martin Barry, reSITE
Episode texts provided by reSITE

The next reSITE event reSITE 2018 ACCOMODATE will take place on June 14-15 and bring fifty architects and thought leaders to Prague including Jeanne Gang, Sou Fujimoto, Michel Rojkind and OMA's Reinier de Graaf to present and discuss housing, cost of living and quality of life.

About this author
Cite: Yiling Shen. "4 Takes on Why Sound Design Is Crucial to Good Architecture" 10 Apr 2018. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/892170/4-takes-on-why-sound-design-is-crucial-to-good-architecture> ISSN 0719-8884

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