Precision Landscapes: Acoustic Grounds / New fields in Urban Design
Team: Elif Simge Fettahoğlu Özgen, Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, Tom Shaked
Digital tools and robotic platforms are increasingly being utilized for environmental purposes, allowing new ways to explore, monitor, and adapt environments. This allows examining their use in creating performative urban landscapes which respond to environmental challenges and changing conditions. On the one hand, these tools are increasingly precise, and on the other hand, they allow incorporating information from natural phenomena which are often chaotic and disordered. This allows developing urban and performative design in response to pressing global challenges, amongst them, noise pollution.
Can landforming mitigate urban noise?
With this question in mind, we are looking at the airport environments as a case study. The seminar will focus on translating noise landscapes, produced by large urban infrastructure or traffic into responsive landforms. In contrast to common industrial solutions (such as noise barriers along roads), we will develop designs in which landforms have a functional role in the urban landscape and can mitigate noise effects. We will then compare the acoustic performance of these landscapes and their potential to respond to the specific noise on-site.
The seminar is conducted with the involvement of the Munich Airport, and experts on noise landscapes – Prof. Benedikt Boucsein, Dr. Eirini Kasioumi (TUM Professorship of Urban Design); urban acoustics; Prof. Jochen Krimm (Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences) and robotics – Hannes Mayer (ETH, Chair of Architecture and Digital Fabrication).
The course is interdisciplinary and open to students from TUM Department of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Power Engineering, as well as Aerospace and Geodesy. It offers theoretical and practical methods for addressing urban design and environmental issues with a design approach to parametric design and further into robotic systems, proposing a synergy between these fields. The course builds upon research performed in recent years addressing similar issues. All work will be undertaken in groups. The course will be adapted to the interdisciplinary composition of the participants.
The seminar will be held in 3 main sections:
1. Analyzing the noise and understanding noise landscapes: In the first phase we look into how noise data can be interpreted, measured and represented. We also look into how noise landscapes are shaped in the case of Munich Airport’s immediate surroundings.
- Harvesting data from noise monitoring stations, and on-site measurements to understand real-life impact of noise
- Urban Analysis
- 3D diagrams and models of the site
2. Developing a landscape design:
Based on the understanding and models of the first phase, we will move on to the design of responsive landscapes. This includes creating a small catalogue of noise-mitigation shapes, choosing selected options and creating alternatives for realizing the scheme; and creating strategies in various scales.
3. Assessment and comparative analysis – we will compare and evaluate the various forms and their acoustic performance and effectivity in noise mitigation in urban design. We will do so by imitating a noise source using GrassHopper and Rhino, and assessing the noise pattern upon the particular shapes.
- Computational Design
- Performance-based Design
- Landscape Architecture
- Performative Landscapes
- Infrastructural Urbanism
The proposed course is open to students from multiple disciplines, relating to the merger of the TUM Department of Architecture, School of Engineering and Design: Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Power Engineering, as well as Aerospace and Geodesy. It offers theoretical and practical methods for addressing urban design and environmental issues with a design approach to robotic systems, proposing a synergy between these fields. The course builds upon research performed in recent years addressing similar issues with robotic tools.
Group Work and Submission
Work will be performed in groups of 2-4 students (depending on the class size).
- Bar-Sinai, K. L., Shaked, T., & Sprecher, A. (2020). Sensibility at Large: A Post-Anthropocene Vision for Architectural Landscape Editing. In 25th International Conference on Computer-Aided Architectural Design Research in Asia: RE: Anthropocene - Design in the Age of Humans, CAADRIA 2020 (pp. 223–232). Bangkok, Thailand.
- Bélanger, P. (2016). Landscape as Infrastructure: A Base Primer. Taylor & Francis.
- Boucsein, B., Christiaanse, K., Kasioumi, E., & Salewski, C. (2017). The Noise Landscape: A Spatial Exploration of Airports and Cities. nai010 publishers.
- Dümpelmann, S. (2014). Flights of Imagination: Aviation, Landscape, Design. University of Virginia Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/books?id=T6VQAwAAQBAJ
- Lugten, Martijn, Merve Karacaoglu, Kim White, Jian Kang, and Koen Steemers. "Improving the soundscape quality of urban areas exposed to aircraft noise by adding moving water and vegetation." The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 144, no. 5 (2018): 2906-2917.
- Lugten, Martijn. "Tranquillity by design-Architectural and landscape interventions to improve the soundscape quality in urban areas exposed to aircraft noise." PhD diss., University of Cambridge, 2019.
- Niesten, J., Tenpierik, M. J., & Krimm, J. (2022). Sound predictions in an urban context. Building Acoustics, 29(1), 27–52. https://doi.org/10.1177/1351010X211034665