Atmos[ph]ree: Using ‘The Revenge’ radio play in interdisciplinary teaching as a means to understand the tensions between materiality and immateriality in building physical and imagined spaces.

Authors: Karathanasopoulou, E.

Conference: The Radio Conference 2018 - A Transnational Forum

Dates: 10-13 July 2018


In this paper I will be presenting some of my work with a group of first year Architecture students. I will be looking at how this work, assisted and facilitated by two of their architecture lecturers, provided a new perspective for these students and how my teaching in my own discipline of radio/audio production has been informed by this interaction.

The paper will mainly be focusing on the introductory session (of a series of activities) with the student architects, where they engaged with Andrew Sachs’ binaural radio play ‘The Revenge’. They were asked to listen and -with absolute creative freedom - produce architectural drawings depicting the story-world of the play. The aim was to investigate the relationship between perception and representation and to help students understand the notions of scale, materiality, structure and form. Consequently, the raised questions concerned the degree of abstraction that penetrates the above relationships. By showcasing some of these drawings, in this paper I will be looking at how such a discussion can provide new insights into binaural audio practice.

Binaural audio is a re-emerging form that is particularly pertinent today. The paper will be relating the above themes and Sachs’ radio play to the prevalent headphone listening practices of today and to new binaural microphone technologies. Particularly it will be looking at how these practices and technologies allow audio producers unprecedented freedom in how they use and evoke space in their storytelling.

The overarching theme of this research is the idea of ‘atmosphere’ – a core concept in both audio production and architecture. Atmosphere in this work will be explored through what Shudana Yusaf has termed “the oxymoronic relationship between the placelessness of radiophony and the situatedness of architecture” (2014:xvi).

Source: Manual