Timbre of the place: Emerging affective assemblages through the association of place and music

Gölgelioğlu, Can
The singular and deterministic approach of contemporary urban design practice conveys the risk of becoming a graphical and top-down domain. It often relies on a single sensory approach seeking visual perfectionism and aims at simplifying the complexity of place in urban design and producing its formal representations. Nevertheless, the efficiency of these efforts is quite ambiguous. This study explores the mediums to overcome a vicious circle, the dulled repetition and understanding, which is increasingly stuck in graphics and formal determinism. In this context, the study intends to dissolve these boundaries through music from assemblage thinking perspective and thereby observe numerous relationalities of the complexity in place. It defends that music presents an alternative creative language that triggers affectivity and enhances the communication capacity of the design practice. As an intuitive interface, it enables to comprehend the essence of place experience where in many circumstances, verbal communication is not powerful enough. Respectively, it proposes the use of the Musical Design Elements (MDEs) and the integration of musical thinking in intersubjective and creative processes. The findings show that people experience places in a much more complex manner and affectively than how it is presented in the literature. Moreover, music reflects the embodied experiences as it allows people to grasp the sensorial and affective relationalities of place. These relationalities play crucial roles in deciding what to design as they catalyze a mindset change and awareness about how people and place come together. This study illustrates that perception of ‘emotion’ and ‘place’ are closely interrelated in mind, and place is interpreted as affective assemblages of emergent and self-organizing relations. When the place is read this way, the problem of urban design also changes from what to design to how to stimulate the emergence of affective assemblages in place.


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Citation Formats
C. Gölgelioğlu, “Timbre of the place: Emerging affective assemblages through the association of place and music,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2021.