In our built environments – our homes, our neighbourhoods, our cities – we consistently forgo the waves around us for the particles. Walls and roads, shapes and lines, make up the literal building blocks of our understanding of the places we inhabit, yet so much of what we experience exists not in quanta but as part of an oscillating continuum. From the mechanics of sight and the consequent aesthetic regime that often violently divides our bodies to the transversal flow of knowledge and ideas between places and times, ‘waveform’ is fundamental to our physical, ostensibly un-undulated existence; but whom among us rides the wave?
Tapping into the societal importance of a particular set waves and frequencies, INTERFERENCE, INTERRUPTION explores how the creation, transmission, and reception of sound waves can and has shaped communities in exciting ways. Drawing on influences from London’s 90’s Pirate Radio culture, to Caribbean diasporic oral traditions, to the gabinetes fonográficos of fin-de-siècle Spain, this series of four workshop sessions led by interdisciplinary design collective RESOLVE looks at the remote co-design of DIY instruments for ‘urban listening’ and ‘urban transmission’ and a collective mapping of different communities in Sheffield by locating and collating their sonic sense of place.
Together, the group will investigate the role of sound waves and our perception of them in forming our neighbourhoods and communities while also building and sharing tools that will help us to critically interfere with and interrupt some of these important processes that currently exist outside of the purview of everyday urban inhabitants. The resultant ‘broadcast map’ of these four sessions will be exhibited online but also played out in situ, becoming part of the context it sought to capture and offering a collection of open source learnings for how others might build upon this work, celebrating the sounds that shape us and all that’s wavey.
RESOLVE is an interdisciplinary design collective that combines architecture, engineering, technology and art to address social challenges. They have delivered numerous projects, workshops, publications, and talks in the UK and across Europe, all of which look toward realising just and equitable visions of change in our built environment.
Much of RESOLVE’s work aims to provide platforms for the production of new knowledge and ideas. An integral part of this way of working means designing with and for young people and under-represented groups in society. Here, ‘design’ encompasses both physical and systemic intervention, exploring ways of using a project’s site as a resource and working with different communities as stakeholders in the short and long-term management of projects. In this way, design carries more than aesthetic value; it is also a mechanism for political and socio-economic change.