This project submission is from student Iuri Trombini, from Ball State University. As always, thank you so much for submitting and sharing with the architecture student community. Below you will find the statement and concept of his work as well as his presentation.
Student: Iuri Trombini
University: Ball State University
Professor: James F. Kerestes
Class: ARCH 498 – Design Computation & Fabrication
Applications: WEIRD AESTHETICS: DEVIATING FROM ARCHITECTURAL CONVENTIONS.
REMIX: REVEALING UNINTENDED ARRANGEMENTS
Music, like architecture, is comprised of a series of relational components. But the presence of some objects within larger compositions are not always apparent. It is within the latency of these systems where new knowledge potentials can emerge. This project investigated the architectural implications of remixing music as it pertains to the untapped potential within generative design processes. How might this investigation shed light on the relationship between rigidly controlled and idiosyncratic production methods? What role does subjectivity and imperfection play during the translation of a design concept.
A remix is a different way of seeing; an alternative perspective to something familiar. It is a process that develops over time in order to create something new from an existing composition. It takes multiple iterations to identify how various components of the source material can be rearranged and what emerges from each version. A remix offers two examples of a set of parameters with completely different constructs – the intended whole and the unexpected resultant – made up of the same parts yet completely independent. To test this contention, the goal of the study was to generate a representation of music using a digital formal language, and then alter that form in order to remix the source song.
In order to generate geometry from audio, sound was to be translated into a coded language of Cartesian coordinate points. The initial step was to identify a song composed of varying structural elements, such as sound waves, which map amplitude and frequency, or loudness and pitch within audio. A song with a diverse organizational structure produced sound-waves with a greater range of inflections. These waves were translated through Processing software in order to generate a vector map and a tessellation structure representative of the song. Once all the coordinate points were generated by the Processing software and a digital form was constructed, the procedure of remixing the song could begin.
Remixing of the source music was accomplished by maintaining a link between the representative digital geometry and the song’s original sound-waves. The form was altered by translating the vector points of the surface geometry through scripted Grasshopper definitions. In turn, the linked sound-waves in the original music would also change in response to the vector translation. The edited sound-wave was then output to yet another data processing software with the capability of generating a playable music file. An isolated portion of the song was remixed numerous times in order to come up with a series of new sound-wave files. Each iteration provided insight into the logic behind the unique audio remix. An investigation into the relationship between translation procedures and code revealed the latent characteristics embedded within the audio data.
This project emphasized the importance of learning through applied research. Technological experimentation, such as intentionally remixing a known condition, enables designers to embrace mistakes as moments of discovery. This project was initiated with the intent of moving beyond the expected outcomes produced by the tools within the discourse. The remix also highlights the influence these emergent conditions can have on design thinking and creative processes.