I have always had a fascination with cities. One little known fact is that I studied architecture for a year at university before changing to the less glamorous geography. I keep my architecture year secret as I dread peoples’ different reactions to each subject- geography generates the typical colouring-in/capital cities jokes; while telling people you studied architecture actually awes and impresses them. Nevertheless, I have no regrets and my faint memories of studying isometric drawings and the origins of concrete are fond and largely humorous ones.
As a result, I was intrigued and captivated to discover this architectural/design installation for Dutch Design Week 2011, by design graduate Akko Goldenbeld. The installation features a scale plan of the city of Eindhoven being rotated to then press piano keys… and ta-da you have the new sounds of the city, the rhythm generated by the linearity and shapes in its plans. I find creating a wooden plan of the city impressive enough (model-making was not my strong point), but the idea of then linking this music- pure genius. With town planning often viewed so negatively (with none of the glitz and showmanship of architecture), I think this project makes town planning much more accessible and personal, while reflecting the skill behind the profession as the buildings create different sounds and responses. The tall buildings in the town centre, for example, producing heavy twangs, while the low-rise villas in the suburbs are more soothing. Thus as the youtube description so aptly puts it, Goldenbeld effectively-
“translates the urban developers’ three dimensional reality into an aural experience. Stadsmuziek (City Music) makes you tune in to the ensemble-playing that is environmental planning”
And with that, I strongly encourage you to listen.