"Soundscape of the Anthropocene: A Sonic Schismogenesis" is the Master's thesis of Alican Inal conducted at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.
Abstract: As humans of early 21st century, our approach to sound in urban scale is destructive and sound-driven applications are mostly based on alienation. This trajectory needs a paradigm-shift. We need more open and inclusionary methods and practices to interact with sound in our cities. The variety of these novel interaction approaches should have a wide range in terms of scale, from urban noise management tools to 1/1 public installations. In this case, the relationship between us (city settlers) and the soundscape, should be considered wider. It should be thought as a multi-layered sound, space and time condition. Therefore, a new approach is needed to human/soundscape interaction in urban environments. We need a deeper understanding and an extensive grasp of not only black and whites but also the grey areas in-between “good” or “bad”.
This thesis will consider the footsteps of Schafer (1969) and Bateson (1936) as a spiral spine in terms of borrowing, pairing and cross-reading their definitions and discussions around their theories of “Soundscape” (Schafer, 1969) and “Schismogenesis” (Bateson, 1936). These two theories will be a core approach to not only grasp the black and whites but also the grey areas of our sonic environment and our interactions with it. The thesis will include an intent to raise awareness of how we end up with our contemporary soundscape by taking a glance to the evolution of the soundscape throughout the Anthropocene. The study will be taken further by investigations clustering around the aspects of; foreseeing future soundscapes of our built environment and defining possible new communication ways with the soundscape. A conclusion will be made by excavating the role of design and the designer in human/soundscape interaction. The essential objective throughout the whole piece will be counting sound as an element which can contribute to the urban environment well, and be a beneficial part of our cities without being avoided.