Diane Morgan

16 April 2013 5:00 pm at SAUL Studio

Speaker: Diane Morgan

Diane Morgan. The Sound of Architecture: Tuning into the Material Resonances of Buildings. School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, University of Leeds. Final Session in the “The Philosophy of the Detail” Spring Lecture Series. Organised by The School of Architecture University of Limerick.

We cannot live in this barbarity; we must get out of it at all cost, whilst conserving our scientific gravity and our industrial positivism. There are other means to be employed, other forms to create, other combinations (agencements) to be imagined. Through culture, the earth must become one immense garden and work, through its organisation, one vast concert”. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon The Principle of Art and Its Social Function (1865).
Our built environment is often the impoverished product of brutiers or “sad calculators” (Saint-Simon) who, succumbing to economic pressures and statutory restrictions, conceive the world as composed of isolated bodies (corps bruts) to be juxta- or super-posed. A reconsideration of architecture’s nature is needed. A recharged sense of its potential might be gleaned by exploring its synaesthetic attunement with the fluid art of music. Using the C19th French socialist utopians’, Saint-Simon and Proudhon’s, critique of conventional building practices as a theoretical framework, my paper wishes to engage debate about contemporary architectural projects which make use of the sonic effects of materials, in particular in conjunction with water; such projects could be seen to rise to Proudhon’s challenge to transform the world into “one vast concert”. By implication, my paper will emphasize the importance of aesthetically appreciating architecture, not so much via the visual image, as through sonic and auditory waves. It would also be exploring how this reattunement of the medium of architecture to these other senses could be seen to produce ethical effects, which, for the utopian socialists at least, contribute to producing a better society.