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Designing Ambiances: Sensory Notation

Lucas, Raymond (2008) Designing Ambiances: Sensory Notation. In: Creating an Atmosphere, symposium at Cresson, 1900-01-01.

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The visual bias of traditional urban and architectural design disciplines is well known and understood. Given the basis of design in the visual realm, what does alternative sensory modality mean for the design process itself ? I shall describe two projects with different approaches to this problem. The first project is titled Vocal Ikebana. The project consisted of a simple sound installation : three movable speakers playing selected environmental recordings. The second project is Sensory Notation. This work seeks to establish a notational system for the whole sensory experience of urban environments. Notators are asked to give a reading of place based upon their prioritisation of these perceptual systems. These two projects explore some of the ways forward for designers wishing to break free of the totalising gaze of vision.