Temporary architecture for music

April 22, 2009

Today I was invited to a graduate course in architecture taught by Visiting Professor, Benjamin Ball, of Ball Nogues Studio. Here is a sample of his work.

He has a class of young architect grad students, working in teams, each pitching their vision of what the space will be. Casey Reas, the Chair of Design Media Arts, critiqued the work from the point of view of a designer — made terrific comments. Ben, was the teacher and coordinator of the critique, so he spoke more frequently. I brought in the element of sound to the design. One team assumed that music goes up, so I went through each instrument of the orchestra explaining where the sound comes from predominantly.

I requested a sexy podium for my scholars: “I don’t want talks to come from professors on a rolled out old podium. I want them thoughtfully placed and surrounded by elements that would make them feel like a rock star. I encouraged them to imagine exactly where stereo speakers might be.

I want one of our big-voiced opera singers to process around the space as she sings. I want a sitar recital; Korean drumming ensemble; the gamelan; contemporary chamber music; traditional chamber music; short films, and the list goes on. The only challenge is “interfering” with night classes that might be going on. I’m sure we’ll work all this out.

I emphasized that we need to get permission to do this to this space, you can’t just start putting up fabulous colorful netting and not get insurance and liability issues and such, covered. I’ve made a call.

This will be a temporarly structure. One of the challenges is that its components be recyclable when the structure is dismantled.

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