May 14. 2023 - Latest News

DS313 Sound and Senses

DS313 Sound and Senses is a four-week design studio course taught by Dr. XU Qiushi, assistant professor of SUSTech School of Design (hereinafter refer to as "the School"), in the spring of 2023 for junior students. This course aims to open up students' multi-sensory experience and allow students to understand sound from multiple dimensions, including academic research and design practice. XU sets sound research and sensory anthropology as the main theory of this course, teaching the basic concepts of sound, music, noise and silence, cutting-edge research, and the specific practice of sound art; aiming to focus on cultivating students' listening skills and using the ability to experience the world with multiple senses and reflect on the world; and guide students to use academic language to interpret sensory experience, use the senses to narrate, and integrate the perception of sound into the design of sound installations.

The theme of this course is urban environmental issues. Students try to understand and feel urban environmental issues from the perspective of sound. They combine sound research, anthropology, design and other interdisciplinary theories and methods to integrate their own views into materials and technology, designed and produced sound installations.

This course consists of classroom lectures, invited lectures and design reviews. In this course, XU brings abstract sound theory and device design into a real and tangible classroom through rich cases and interactive experiences. For example, we set up an experimental session in which students can perceive different sounds with their eyes closed, fully mobilizing students' imagination and sensibility to experience the source of sounds and the scenes in which they occur; we led students to visit the Shenzhen Sound Museum, and under the guidance of sound installer Mr. LI Yang to feel the charm of sound installation art in "quiet space"...



DS313 Course Output

Finally, the students designed and produced a sound installation to express reflection and criticism on urban environmental issues. 7 groups used sound installations to present 7 topics: fast food waste, urban noise and plant hearing, light pollution, plastic waste, acid rain, bottled water waste, and overconsumption of clothing and waste production.

During the design practice, Mr. LI Yang, Director of the Shenzhen Sound Museum, Mr. SHEN Piji, a sound artist, and Professor TIAN Song from SUSTech School of Humanities and Social Sciences were invited to provide guidance on the design and production of sound installations for the students, and gave many valuable comments and suggestions to the students.



Invited Lecture

In order to allow students to open up their 5 senses, this course first invited Associate Professor ZHANG Jinghong from SUSTech School of Humanities and Social Sciences to give a lecture on sensory anthropology. In class, ZHANG brought tea-tasting utensils. While giving lectures, she guided students to open their senses and appreciate the sound, color, aroma and taste of tea, giving students a refreshing sensory experience.



This course also invited Associate Professor ZHANG Duoduo from the School of Design, Hunan University to give students a lecture on "Social Design and Voice from the Perspective of Design Anthropology". From the concept of anthropology, the development history of anthropology, the application of design anthropology to the analysis of specific design cases, ZHANG gave detailed explanations and analysis, and shared the difficulties and solutions she encountered. Guiding students' creation to help students better apply design anthropology methods to their sound installations.



In addition to providing students with diverse guidance from a theoretical level, XU also invited internationally renowned sound engineers, winner of the National Academy of Sciences Award, Grammy Award, chief sound engineers of National Public Radio, and National Geographic audio program producers —— Mr. Bill MCQAY brought students a lecture on how to use sound to narrate and perceive the world through sound, and expand students' knowledge and understanding of sound production.



Design Critique

This course has two stages: mid-term critique and final critique. Prof. AN Pengcheng and Prof. Marcel SAGESSER from the School, Prof. TIAN Song and Associate Prof. ZHANG Jinghong from SUSTech School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Associate Professor CHEN Lin from Shandong University were invited respectively. Commenting and guiding students' sound installation works were intended to allow students to receive professional feedback in a timely manner and help them achieve greater improvement from a theoretical level and a technical level.

The final critique of the course was held at Shenzhen Sound Museum. After the critique, XU reviewed and summarized the theoretical teaching and design practice of the entire course, and announced that an exhibition would be held for the students' works at Shenzhen Sound Museum. People from all walks of life will be invited to visit, allowing the sound installation to enter a wider public view.


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