What Design Sounds Like

In two days I will be presenting at Design Observer's What Design Sounds Like conference, held at the School of Visual Arts (logically!) in New York.  I am excited to be a part of a great group including Nicola Twilley who will be talking about sound and food in "Sound Bites", Alexander Chen who will be presenting his work on music and code, and numerous others with presentations that sound fascinating. I'll be talking to Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG in the afternoon of the conference about a whole range of topics related to sound and space. On the docket: silent cities, ancient ninja defense systems, quasi-forensic acoustic testing of space, and kitchen sinks that sing.

Although What Design Sounds Like will not be cast live on the web, you can follow along with @DesignObserver .

Relatedly, I have also just started a series of sound walks with Bryan Finoki titled (in)Fringe.  We'll be walking along, over, under, and through the varying edge spaces of San Francisco. Our line of inquiry runs like this:

We're intrigued by what constitutes a sonic fringe physically, culturally, and experientially. Questions we’re asking include: Can the shifts in power of a place be heard, and how (if at all) should we listen to them? How can a place be defined by an edge, or a lack thereof? What do these fringes suggest about the cultural dynamics of a given place?

Our first walk takes us to the Mission District, where we encounter forces of change in the historical and cultural center of the city. We walked a number of the streets in alleys in search of evidence of an "edge" condition - simply put, where the new meets the old, and how they mix (or don't mix) together. Have a listen:

Bryan and I will be continuing the exploration in future posts about the Mission, post-military sites such as Treasure Island and the Presidio, and more. Stay tuned!