The Sonic Exchange
The Sonic Exchange is an exchange of sounds, people, thoughts and interpretations, driven by both an understanding of sonic experience and an exchange of sonic experiences themselves. It is composed of both a tram exchange and the home of The Sonic Authority, an authority set up to promote soundscape ecology by combatting sound gentrification and researching the effects of sound and noise on the urban realm in the form of anthropophonies, geophonies and biophonies.
The existing infrastructure of the Irk is incapable of supporting the population of the proposed development and is insufficient even now. The Sonic Exchange provides the wider site with new carbon efficient transport infrastructure as well as both new cultural infrastructure and a protected area of green infrastructure. To deny the Irk of any development by preserving it in formaldehyde so it remains constant forever is selfish. Stasis is ridiculous: we need homes and schools and space to live. The Irk is only currently accessible for the few.
However, our current and future need does not have to erase the history of this site, flatten it or destroy the environment and all its niches. This project aims to preserve the integrity and identity of the Irk in parallel to its development. The exchange is designed for human occupation but the concept is designed as a unified soundscape which acknowledges and celebrates both the elements used in its composition and also their interactions. Soundscapes are not only created by humans, nor are they only heard by us.
Using sound as a tool to interrogate the site and its potential allowed for an all-encompassing proposition. Sound is political, sound is ecological, sound is part of our cultural identities and the histories of our urban environments. Our range of hearing is one-thousand times our range of vision and the ear has three times more neural connections in the brain than the eye, an occularcentric built environment is an inadequate one.