Letter 73: Post Apocalypse

Exercise 1 Image 1

Blacksburg. I set out with this question of the urban landscape. The density of Blacksburg’s “down town” area is nothing like that of an actual urban city. I came back to my desk disappointed after walking all around this college town to find some kernel of urbanity. I walked out of the building once more in hopes that my desires would be satiated. Suddenly, the city scape appeared before my eyes. The gritty towers rose from the ground, higher than my belief.

Letter 72: “Invisible Architecture”

Final Print

I remember back to a time I was in high school. I was reading a poster on the wall that talked about the way in which we learn. The last point of learning was about repetition or review. At times, I have difficulties remembering information I once knew. The things I do remember, I remember because I had to explain it to someone else or I talk to someone about it in detail.

Perhaps, I can do the same with writing.

This evening, I watched a TED talk called “Why Architects Need to Use Their Ears” by Julian Treasure. He touched on acoustics of a space quite a bit and how sound affects people, especially in hospitals, schools, and offices, but something that resonated with me was this idea of “Invisible Architecture” that he talked about. We don’t see sound. We perceive it, and it has an affect on us “physiologically, psychologically, cognitively, and behaviorally”. With this piece, I was initially going to make a continuous line out of sound waves. I quickly realized how little we can tell about sound when we are simply looking at the waves themselves. Sure, we can make assumptions about the volume of the sound, but what more? Through an overlay of abstracted images and color, one can get a sense of the mood of the space. We can pass judgement on the quality of sound and make assumptions about what we would feel in that space. This is what that term invisible architecture means to me. It is when you’re in a space and you close your eyes. Your hearing becomes focused but you still have a memory of the feeling of the space.