Date of Submission
Bachelor of Architecture
Throughout history, performances, the fine arts, and music have brought society together to persuade, inspire, and bring to light the pressing issues of their time. The Roman’s used the coliseum to distract their people with games and spectacles from political instability and famine. The Greeks performed in open amphitheaters to communicate tragic stories of morality. I want to influence the entertainment of our time, that is music festivals, from America’s first 1954 Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island to 1969 The Woodstock Aquarian exposition reported 500,000 people in attendance. Festivals are an escape from a conventional society into a counterculture that brings the community together to celebrate peace, love, and music. Music is still the root of bringing people together but there is an opportunity for architects to shape this interaction. I’m not reinventing the wheel but rather introducing spatial configurations that dissolves the boundaries between the audience and the performer based on the experience.
My research seeks to discover the phenomenology of light and acoustics through performance architecture. Through expressions of light, color, and sound an architecture can be programmed to increase social interaction and create a multi-sensory experience. Sound and light are vibrations that inflict our emotions. Architecture is a space that contains or can even create sound. By researching how different colors and vibrations travel through space, we can adjust these frequencies so we can tune the cognition in society for a transcendent experience. By selecting a site that offers natural geographic scenery, we can design an immersive musical experience with the natural landscape. The canyons in Utah feature natural phenomenons of light and sound. The alcoves in the canyons have a natural acoustic quality of echo and reverberation. A unique experience can be designed for the attendees to explore the space by programing the alcoves for collective making through music. Programing architectural surfaces for music production starts to dissolve this boundary between the attendee and performer to fully engage the community through architecture and music.
Festival grounds tend to be scattered with no cohesiveness. Campers and multiple stages sprawl along the grounds and leave a lot of waste. This is an opportunity for architects to design a more systematic approach for an outdoor concert experience. New usage of materials and assembly process will construct a structure that doesn’t impede on the natural environment. Modular living accommodations can be assembled for less waste and space. The idea of ‘main stage’ can be fragmented into sub-stages that can be assembled so it can form different configurations and different experiences each year and adapt based on the size of the audience. Acoustic shells and clouds will work harmoniously for a better acoustic experience for large audiences with attention to echo and reverberation based on the performer. My thesis aims to create an architecture as an instrument to bridge the gap between cultures and to connect, influence, and progress society through art and music. By designing with a phenomenological approach, a musical experience can be reconfigured every year for spiritual serenity in the natural landscape.
Chambers, Bree, "A Phenomenological Approach to Performance Architecture Through Light and Acoustics" (2020). Bachelor of Architecture Theses - 5th Year. 109.