Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Sacrosanct & Sound

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posted on 2022-07-28, 03:57 authored by Al-Ali, Mohammed

In our age of sensory experience and understanding, iconographic rhetoric is arguably the primary medium used to seduce our perception. We ornament and adorn architecture superfluously to satisfy the eye. What of the ear? Over time, it is evident to see that architects have lost their connection and insight into the realm of sound, and yet we as humans are able to experience and distinguish a vast spectrum of sound frequency; so why not alter our approach to architecture to accommodate for our acute and powerful sense of audition? Thus, architecture needs to rediscover this sensory dimension to generate a more inclusive and evocative design.

Historically, aural design has been a catalyst in architecture in producing spaces that bathe in resonance and reverberance to achieve a sense of absolute immersion with the architectural form. It was eras of preliteracy that were coupled with exceptional acoustic logic; and it was not until oral traditions transformed into visual ones, that the primacy of sound sensitive criteria was retrospective (Sheridan & Lengen, 2013).

It is then essential to rebirth this ancient knowledge of aurality and its influence on form and identity. Thus, the thesis intends to explore how sound can be used as a design generator to create architectural form reflective of an identity or place. The research will harness a sound sample that resonates with a locale, which will then influence the architectural space. Understanding the nature of sound will also reflect the process of acoustic exploration and the manipulation of sound parameters to create form. In doing so this will allow architects to create visceral spaces once again. The outcome of this thesis will portray an architectural solution generated primarily by sound.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Abreu e Lima, Daniele