architecture | music | acoustics

In conjunction with the soundaXis festival of music, acoustics, and architecture, the Ryerson University Department of Architectural Science is pleased to announce an international conference dedicated to a study of the same themes.

Among the critical fault-lines within architectural practice and discourse is that which privileges sight, conceiving of architecture as primarily a visual art form. Despite the multi-sensorial, embodied nature of our being in space, architectural discourse has been largely silent where senses other than the visual are impacted.

This conference proposes to move outside the visual paradigm to investigate the relationships between architecture, music, and acoustics. These intermeshed relationships have tended to one extreme or the other: either sound is understood by architects instrumentally, as an element to be controlled if not eliminated, or music is understood by architects as a metaphorical structure needing to be translated to visual terms before becoming available to architecture.

The four keynote speakers and the schedule are as follows:

R. Murray Schafer, Composer and Acoustic Ecologist from Canada enjoys an international reputation as a composer, environmentalist, and scholar, whose work on acoustic ecology was fundamental to the founding of that discipline. Schafer was recipient of the 2005 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts from the Canada Council. He speaks on June 7, 2006 at 6:30pm in Room 202 of the Ryerson University Architecture Building at 325 Church Street.

Juhani Pallasmaa, Architect from Finland is one of the foremost figures in contemporary Finnish architecture and design, and is well known for both his design work – which includes architecture, graphic design, urban planning, and exhibitions – and his extensive and influential theoretical writings on architecture and the senses. He speaks on June 8, 2006, at 4:30pm at the Ryerson University Library Auditorium (L-72) at 350 Victoria Street.

Bernhard Leitner, Architect and Sound Artist from Austria has, since the 1970s, developed an international reputation for his work on the notion of the Sound:Space that is, a space defined by sound. Professor Leitner’s work clearly connects the realms of sound, architecture, and the inner experience of perception. He speaks on June 9, 2006 at 4:30pm in Room 202 of the Ryerson University Architecture Building at 325 Church Street.

Robert Essert, Acoustic Engineerfrom the United Kingdom has more than 20 years experience advising on dozens of completed arts and cultural buildings. In 2002, he founded Sound Space Design to deliver the very best acoustics in collaborative relationships with design teams in architecture and technology of the future. He speaks on June 10, 2006 at 4:30pm at the MaRS Centre Auditorium at 101 College Street.

Individual keynote tickets may be purchased for $25 each ($10 for students); a keynote package that includes attendance at all four keynote addresses may be purchased for $75 ($25 for students).

To order tickets, please contact or visit and follow the links.