Studio_ L28: Urban Sonic Design Conversation



Presentation / discussion and Selection


Abstract, Paper / artefact, and Poster


Caroline Claus
Burak Pak

Files:  abstract, poster, full paper

Fragments from proceedings (‘artefact submission’)’:


Our proposition consists of a public installation that seeks to infrastructure a multiplicity of conversations around the topic of a sonic urbanism as critical spatial practice hereby opening up to the affective or attractive and repulsive power of sonic force. To explore the affordances of a sonic urbanism as critical spatial practice and thus to break free from prevailing modes of urbanism which focus on sonic risk and vibrational nuisance – we constituted a working practice exploiting and nurturing the productive encounters between disciplines such as sound art, urbanism and urban architecture. By setting up an experimental design studio at the KU Leuven Faculty of Architecture, embedded in local auditory culture and in connection to ongoing planning processes, we aim to facilitate an open learning ground for sonic design experimentation in the development of innovative sonic spatial tools and approaches. Our design studio is oriented to students of the International Master in Architecture summoned to research the multiple (sonic) vibrations of the Brussels L28 railway area, to exploit and contrast these vibrational forces, transforming them to into actions and opportunities. From a critical sonic understanding of urban space, we exploit a contradictory role compared to the widespread noise control practices, reformulate environments, perimeters and relations of urban phenomena and search for interactivity with vibrational dynamics that already exist in the territory. In a public installation we will show possible design approaches and perspectives that we have explored together with students and other guests. The documentation of the research project will be the central focus for a series of transdisciplinary conversations that we will organize in the exhibition space of the conference. Does the questioning of the politics of silence and noise lead us to alternative sonic strategies and tactics for the design of transitory urban space? What critical positions can we take from here for the creation of vibrational environments that enable new forms of urban negotiation?

Sonic Urbanism, Critical Spatial Practice, Conversation, Exhibition, Vibrational Force


The complete installation consists of 1) a listening desk for max two persons 2) Panels with poster presentation 3) an audio recording/playback system. On the posters, design proposals for the open space of the railway space L28 will be positioned according to the research axes. The table we will present a sonic cartography of the research project using graphic and (sonic) vibrational material. Through an audio set up that integrates 3 headphones, an acoustic monitoring device into one system, conversations are recorded and later mixed with the field recordings and previous conversations. The results are made audible via play back.