Master´s Thesis 2020 Matter Space Structure

Olivia Lilja


to formulate visible notations of sound experiences

There is an invisible architecture, a sonically experienced space – a soundscape. The aim of this thesis is to explore how that experience can be formulated and communicated visually. This will be investigated through the idea of translation defined as a “rendering of the same ideas in a different language from the original”. Invisible impermanent sound experience in ear are, through sensitive formulating hands, translated to a visible permanence – a notational system, which enables a communicative process.

Today, there is a developed symbolic language for visual architecture, but symbols for aural architecture seem to be sparse. This thesis is trans-disciplinary, building on knowledge from the disciplines of architecture, music and semiotics. By developing a system of symbols to represent sound experiences – a prescriptive notational system like the musical notations, this thesis aims to contribute to the discussion of how architects can communicate desirable soundscapes in the design process.

How can invisible sound experiences be formulated and communicated visually?

To find answers the question this thesis is divided into four main sections. The first section presents, nine well-selected sound experiences recorded on Iceland – a land with a fascinating soundscape. In the second section the recorded sounds are explored and understood through five different experiments – various medias are formed during intensive listening. In the third, the outcome from the five experiments is summarized into a prescriptive notational system that tries to tell the eye what the ear will hear – a translation of the sound experiences, caught in one visual soundshape – a sound cube. In the fourth and last section, the sound cubes are read as instructions to create aural spaces – a first spatial sketch.