School of Architecture College of Design

Hearing Space

Workshop Summary

One can look at seeing; one can’t hear hearing. -- Marcel Duchamp

Architecture has historically privileged sight over the other senses. This workshop will shift the focus to the acoustical aspects of architectural space by considering sound as a design medium.

The advent of digital technology has provided new opportunities to explore the relationship between sound and space. For this workshop, we will consider how digital technology can be used to create non-physical environments – How can sound contribute to the phenomenological experience of architecture? How can audio technology be employed to evoke memories associated with a place (or create new ones)? How do acoustics alter our perceptions of space?

This Catalyst workshop promotes the leaps in perception of what design can be by asking participants to think beyond a retinal approach to architecture, inviting them to explore the aural dimensions of space.



Guest Instructor

Michael J. Schumacher, Adjunct Professor of Digital Media, NYU/Poly

Founder/Director, Diapason Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Michael J. Schumacher is a composer, performer and installation artist based in Brooklyn, NY. He works predominantly with electronic and digital media, creating computer generated sound environments that evolve continuously for long time periods. In their realization, Schumacher uses multiple speaker configurations that relate the sounds of the installation to the architecture of the exhibition space. Architectural and acoustical considerations thereby become basic structural elements.

His sound installations have been heard at festivals and venues in North America, Europe and Asia. XI Records has published a DVD set of five sound installations, playable on up to eight speakers, which may be installed on a computer to create generative sound environments in the home. Schumacher’s composition “Grid”, a computer generated score that unfolds in real time, has been in exhibitions in New York, Barcelona and Houston. His CD "Room Pieces", also on XI Records, was rated best of 2003 for “modern composition” by The Wire magazine.


Faculty Instructor

Jim Lutz, Lecturer, Co-Director MS Sustainable Design Program, IDP Educator Coordinator


School of Architecture
145 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Fax: 612-624-5743


Contact Information

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