Teaching Spatial Sound: 25 years of sound based teaching in The School of Architecture and Design at RMIT University (2015)

Duration: 34:42

Teaching Spatial Sound: 25 years of sound based teaching and research in The School of Architecture and Design at RMIT”

A lecture delivered by Associate Professor, Director of SIAL Sound Studios, on December 7, 2015.


Over 25 years more than 27 academics have delivered design studios, electives and post-graduate supervision on sound based topics in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT. While a core group of sound-based practitioners have maintained an electroacoustic studio in the school since the late 1990s, staff from other design disciplines and guests have collaborated on teaching and research projects.

In preparing this talk, speaker Lawrence Harvey interviewed current lecturers in sound and prepared a repertoire of techniques with Jeffrey Hannam and Jordan Lacey.  Other preparations included an interview with Leon van Schaik to trace the origins of the sound program in the School, which dates back to the early 1990’s. The video also includes a table of design studios taught over 25 years, and other key events including the establishment of SIAL Sound Studios in the early 2000’s, major grants, projects and events.

The talk was prepared during negotiations to establish a network of sound based practitioners teaching and researching in Australian design schools.  That project was put on hold due to the rapid growth in the Master of Design Innovation and Technology (MDIT), through which we continue to develop teaching techniques.

Duration – 34:41

00:00  Introduction: Teaching Spatial Sound

01:33 A timeline of teaching sound in the School of Architecture and Design at RMIT

05:05 Table of outputs, papers and key events of sound in the School from the early 1990s

07:10 Bibliography – publications on teaching sound in the School, or sound based pedagogy.  Over 12 publications rom 15 authors, including PhDs and peer reviewed writing.

07:57 Acoustics Australia article, 1997 “Acoustic Design at RMIT University”, including description of the first studio for aurlaisaiton.

09:14 Current techniques used to teach sound in SIAL Sound Studios, a teaching repertoire or suit of techniques.   10:37 List of techniques

10:55 Introduction of several techniques used in teaching – recording, sound walks, activities approaches, field exercises – impulse responses and tempo exercise, brief for the PolyQuarters studio, sound maps, use of spatial sound examples, use of The Brief or problem making, concerts and installations including walkthrough Sound Bites City, spatial mixing and production exercises, Virtual Environments: Nebula Program, sites visits.

32:11 Findings around teaching, who has been teaching, focus on experiential nature of sound, what we could improve on, building on experiential components as a critical pedagogical approach.

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