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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Declan Shaw – Waiting and the Reconstruction of Imagination


Declan Shaw’s of Interactive Installation, Bird Soundscapes incorporate a dynamic three dimensional acoustic environment of birdsong which perform accelerated diurnal cycles. Individual ‘birds’ occupy positions in space, which move about in birdlike patterns and also reacting to the movement of the inhabitants. This is accompanied by a coloured light cycle which denotes the times of day.


In this manner the listener may hear an accumulating dawn chorus of bird personalities while her environment is filled with an intensifying morning blue light. She may go on the hear crows and blackbirds interacting in a red evening dusk. Shaws work was developed within the Bartlett School of Architectures Anechoic Chamber hence the menacing image of the spikey walls but the intention is that the constructed environment would be placed within an existing negative waiting space, such as a hospital ward or waiting room, with a view to encouraging positive waiting behaviour in its occupants.


As well as the installation Declan produced a series of college images depicting this changing acoustic environments intended effects in the hospital patients experience of these spaces.


Declan describes how “the context of this project is the construction of a space for waiting and for exploiting the possibilities of waiting. While drawing distinctions between waiting situations as pleasure/play and waiting as punishment/pain, I fixed on the notion of reverie as a crucial condition for the encouragement of the positive possibilities of waiting, which include: rest, renewal, inspired creativity and a sense of satisfaction and wellbeing.” Declans doesn’t have a website but his work and work of many other students from Unit 14 at the Bartlett can be found here


  1. mydhili

    m mydhili ….student of architecture….
    I like dis concept very much…its amazingdis vl b a pleasing experiance in a boring environment……
    but i wonder abt its maintainance part of it…..

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