HOW MIGHT WE design an immersive experience of play at an architectural scale in Riverside Park?
SoundSk8 is my proposal completed for the Introduction to Architecture program at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation. The studio, led by Aaron Schiller and Matthew Davis, aimed to teach contemporary processes of architectural design. The final project aimed to inspire the concept of PLAY at an architectural scale.
Sound Sk8 is an urban skatepark in Riverside Park that sits below massive satellite structures, shaped to collect or repel the city soundscape, creating an immersive playful, yet distorting user experience.
RESEARCH & DESIGN PROCESS
RESEARCH & SYNTHESIS
I wandered through Riverside Park and visualized my experience with a sketched diagram. I was enamored by the changing soundscape of the park as I wove from away from the city grid-line towards the Hudson River. This inspired my 'sound diagram of Riverside Park' deliverable.
I follow this initial trajectory several times, using varied units of measurement to challenge my perception of space, visually communicated by designing a sophisticated notational system. One particular iteration of these 'measured journeys' required fabricating a physical measuring device.
IDEATE & PROTOTYPE
Our studio ventured to the Noguchi Museum, where we learned about immersive sculptural design. The playful nature of Noguchi's structures inspired my final studio project: how might I design a playful experience of sound in Riverside Park?
This began an iterative process of extensive site research, technical drafting, and model making. These were periodically reviewed through desk and pin up crits.
My SoundSk8 pitch, including orthographic drawings and high fidelity models, was presented to our studio directors and an external panel of guest designers.
SoundSk8 is an ambitious, arguably absurd proposal that offers Riverside Park visitors the ability to create their own experience of fun through sound distortion. It encapsulates the spirit of New York City; one can imagine hearing the ricochet of skateboard wheels, the spray of graffiti cans, the cacophony of car horns, or perhaps the slam of a Yankee's home run.
Future iterations of this project might push the design of the satellite structures to perhaps not need connection to the ground, and use human-centered design storytelling to bring varied user experiences to life.