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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Place not Scene

Atmosphere, collective experience and mystery are words that I would use to describe my idealistic scenario for enjoying live music. Although such events exists and of course other factors are important, I cant help but feel disappointed when I go out to find a performer stood in front of a two dimensional LED screen, ahead of a sea of people connecting more with their phones than the performance and the people around them. The audio experience is essentially dissolved to be less than or equal to the visual one.

The traditional stage-audience relationship usually consists of a one perspective view of the performance. When we compare this to the dynamic nature of a night club we can expect very different experiences. The night club offers the opportunity to sculpt and augment the audience  experience by offering a range of spaces that act as social filters. Having the ability to dance on the dance floor or stand on a terrace where conversation is possible over the level of the music means that we have the ability to find comfort and control our experience. I believe that the extreme levels of interactions within such a dynamic environment equate to new relationships and a sense of community and togetherness begins to evolve.

Architectural Relevance

The project “Place not Scene” looks at using an architectural system to reintroduce these dynamic spaces and sense of community back into the way in which we experience live musical performance (specifically in places such as festivals) I propose that a kit of parts can be assembled to form a dynamic venue which can be easily modified by the audience (either volunteers days before the festival or between performances depending on the design of the final structure)  to suit the performance that is housed within it. I believe that promoting a relationship between the audience and the architecture with the collective goal being the performance will generate a scenario in which collective thinking and achievement will thrive. In doing so a place will be created as opposed to a ready made two dimensional screen/stage that can only be viewed from one perspective. The animation above was made to express this concept and demonstrate my vision.

I took advantage of the visiting crowd at the recent DfPI project faire to collect research to have in mind whilst designing the system. I made a set of stamps and asked people to prioritise and rank the different aspects of live musical performance that they enjoy/ seek out. Some of the options included; music, visual stimulation, social interaction, location, drink/drugs ect…

Analogue Projector

In an attempt to express the same concept of community adaptation and audience perception augmentation I built a perspex wheel that animates a projected surface. The idea being that the audience can physically adapt their own architecture by controlling the visuals projected within a space.

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