Alum, Nick Sowers, Participated In The 2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
City of Sound | City of Dust
Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism
Photo Courtesy: Places Journal, Nick Sowers
Nick Sowers (M.Arch ‘10) participated in the 2019 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism with his project City of Sound | City of Dust. Sowers’s project was on the five stereo channels of field recordings he made at Burning Man in 2010. His exhibition looked at the basic problem of ‘finding’ in an unfamiliar urban environment. The sounds of bicycles, generators, fire organs, and the persistent drone of the party metropolis are diffused through five acrylic panels organized on a radial grid, echoing the layout of Black Rock City. Soundscape, made from the five acrylic sound panels, embodies the main acoustic elements that affect our urban experience. The five key elements are:
1. Sounds give direction to people in space
2. The Sound informs the time and is the standard of measurement
3. Sound allows people to feel and communicate even when they are far
4. You can use the sound wall when you want to be alone
5. Sounds keep people awake, even when nothing special happens.
Sowers proposed that a city is a construction of sound. Following this notion, what the city is and how it affects us becomes more malleable. If a city is a construct of sound, then a city could be shut out with the right amount of noise cancellation. A city of sound can be oppressive, full of relentless traffic and unmitigated noise pollution, or it can be collectively generated from the bottom up as a space of inclusion with a balance of loud and quiet.
Seoul Biennale is a two-month event going from September 7th to November 10th. The objective of the Seoul Biennale is to provide the public with a platform to hold discussions on the creation and changing of cities. It aims to redefine architecture and urbanism to align with the role of the collective city model that the public can create and reap the benefits of together.