A walk between disciplines: listening to the composition of Ormeau Road
Elen Flügge (text and recordings) and Timothy Waddell (drawings)
This chapter employs a methodological approach that pairs techniques from the fields of architecture and sound studies to investigate an arterial route in Belfast: Ormeau Road. Reflecting on this high street from divergent disciplinary perspectives brings attention to its varied physical and sensorial aspects. This study juxtaposes an architectural depiction of Ormeau Road via plans and sections with a sensorial depiction based on ‘soundwalking’. Ultimately, this multidisciplinary approach to Ormeau Road results in a nuanced understanding of the local street that articulates its unique characteristics while reflecting on the challenges in aligning the methodologies of two fields that reference different temporalities. This study concludes that it is possible to produce valuable insights by incorporating personal reflection into the study and combining approaches that capture different manifestations of qualities (e.g. repetition, thresholds, masking) that exist in urban environments.
About Elen Flügge
Elen Flügge is a sonic researcher, writer and performer focusing on personal and urban sonic experience. With a background in philosophy and sound studies, she has published about sound art and listening scores Everyday streets scores. Her practice includes violin and vocal performance, site-specific installation and soundwalking. She completed her PhD ‘Listening Practices for Urban Sound Space in Belfast’ at SARC.
About Timothy Waddell
Timothy Waddell is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University Belfast, investigating improvisation in architectural practice. Adjacent to this research is an interest in the social relations that particular streetscapes enable or restrict.