Recomposing the City: Sonic Art and Urban Architectures is a collaborative research group based at Queen's University Belfast and the University of Oxford. Our mission is to bring together researchers and practitioners from a variety of disciplines in addressing the question: How can sound artists, architects and planners working in collaboration generate new ways of analysing, understanding, and transforming urban spaces? We explore this question through seminars, events, publications, and design projects. Our ultimate aim is to support new design and development projects, and to improve the understanding of sound within architecture studies and practice.
Recomposing The City was founded in 2013 by Dr Gascia Ouzounian (Music, University of Oxford) and Dr Sarah Lappin (Architecture, Queen's University Belfast). Our project has brought together over two dozen local and international researchers from a variety of disciplines: music and sonic arts, architecture and planning, geography, anthropology, film studies, and creative writing. Since its inception in 2013 Recomposing the City has hosted over twenty concerts and lectures, two symposia, a cross-faculty postgraduate seminar, and several exhibitions. Current projects can be found on our Research and Events pages.
Recomposing the City has supported the following activities:
- presentations at the annual conference of the Architectural Research in the Humanities Association (Bristol) and the European Sound Studies Association (Copenhagen)
- a week-long workshop on 'listening maps' for students in Architecture at Queen's
- an exhibition, 48Hz, at Platform Arts in Belfast
- an International Symposium in Spring 2014
- publications in Leonardo Music Journal (LMJ23), The Acoustic City (eds. Gandy and Nilsen), and Architecture and Culture 2(1)
- piloting the first cross-faculty unit between Sonic Arts and Architecture at Queen's, Soundspace Seminar Series, with the support of the Queen's Annual Fund
- a Postgraduate Student Symposium
- an ongoing seminar and concert series at the Sonic Arts Research Centre
- invited talks at the Blavatnik School of Government's 'Flourishing Cities' conference, and the International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation conference at Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens
- a week-long workshop on East Belfast Acoustic Mapping for architecture students
- the launch of Hearing Trouble, a 3-year research project funded by the AHRC
- a special issue of Journal of Sonic Studies on 'Recomposing the City: New Directions in Urban Sound Art'
- research activities in Berlin, Belfast and Bonn
- research presentations at Sound Art Matters (Aarhus), Culture in Urban Space (Copenhagen) and Ambiances Tomorrow (Volos)
- workshops at The MAC on urban sound design and acoustic planning (September 2016, Belfast)
- a forthcoming issue of Evental Aesthetics on 'Sound Art and Environment'
- continuing research towards the AHRC-funded project 'Hearing Trouble'
- keynote presentation at 'The Role and Position of Sounds and Sounding Arts in Public Environments'
- Public Information Sessions on Urban Sound (Spring 2017, Belfast)