reDesigning Affect Space #1: Architecture as Sonic Experience, Berlin April 14 – 16, 2018

A masterclass by Dutch artists Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum in Berlin (April 14 -16) marks the start of a new international design theory, practice and research project initiated and coordinated by the Cool Mediators Foundation, titled reDesigning Affect Space. This project follows on from the Technology / Affect / Space public research project conducted by Eric Kluitenberg and Open! – Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain, in 2016.

Below is more information on the masterclass and its context.

reDesigning Affect Space #1: Architecture as Sonic Experience
Masterclass by Esther Polak & Ivar van Bekkum in cooperation with Hybrid Space Lab.
Berlin, Spektrum, April 14 – 17, 2018.

In their work, Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum (PolakVanBekkum) are investigating mobility and the (urban) landscape. In recent years they have explored the possibilities of location-specific binaural sound recordings. To enter a physical identification with mobilities and moving objects, they connected their recording equipment to those objects, instead of the human head. To radicalise this work method in scale, PolakVanBekkum proposes to apply it to a building. As a result, one ear would hear the eastern side of a building, while the other ear would hear the western side.

Workshop: Architecture as Sonic Experience

Your ears are about 20 cm apart. How will you experience the city once you enlarge that distance? Will this make you hear like a giant?

In two afternoons, you will experiment with listening over expanded distances: with your ears one meter apart, 2 meters, 5 meters, 20 meters, as if you enlarge your head. Can you intertwine sounds that enter your ears from a greater distance than you are used to?

We will bring mics and extension cables to connect those distances to headphones. We can use our mobile phones to produce live streams. And don’t hesitate to bring your own equipment to experiment with. Once we decided on a setup, we will go out to the street to ‘become’ different objects: a tree, a bridge, a car, or a bus stop.

We, Ivar and Esther, are curious to radicalise the scale of this work method as far as possible. Can we even identify with a building adding one ear to one side and the other to the opposite side?

At the start of the workshop all participants will be asked to introduce themselves, to see what fields of knowledge, experience, and curiosity each of us brings. During the workshop we will build on this collective expertise. Concluding the workshop, we will define what ‘spatial listening’ brought us.

Can we approach the urban landscape from this position with a different view, or rather a different ear? What sort of bodily information do we get? What is the role of (mobile) tech to this? What is this kind of spatial listening? And how does it affect our sense of city-awareness?

The workshop is open to students and professionals who are interested in and engaged with:
– alternative ways to experience urban space
– binaural sound recording
– field recording
Please send your short (two sentence) motivation to:
Participation is free.

This masterclass is part of ‘reDesigning Affect Space’, an international design- theory, practice, and research project initiated by lead-researcher Eric Kluitenberg, which consists of a series of masterclasses and conferences in Berlin, Madrid, Rotterdam and The Hague. The project aims to develop a more differentiated design agenda for the increasingly dense connections between public space, mobile media, and wireless networks, and the shift to affective relations in public space that results from this densification.

binaural recordings of moving objects:
car recording
vorkheftruck recording
caterpillar recording
trolley recording


Essay reDesigning Affect Space (Open! Platform for Art, Culture & the Public Domain):

Workshop: Friday & Saturday, 12:30 – 17:00, February 2 & 3, 2018
Location: SPEKTRUM
Bürknerstr. 12,
12047  Berlin  >>  U8 Schönleinstrasse

Workshop3 Workshop1 Workshop2

reDesigning Affect Space is generously supported by the Netherlands Creative Industries Fund.

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