Serendipity HS17 – Audio-Visual Fieldwork

If These Walls Could Talk: Schanzengraben Remixed.


Zurich´s walled river promenade offers a peculiar environment. Where the walls draw you down beneath the street level, you cross echoing bridges and diffusing walls, vibrant street scenes and silent non-places. Now the site activates your imagination: How will you unfold its audiovisual potential? In this elective course, you will have the chance to remix the Schanzengraben and develop a practice of urban sound design.

You will record a spatial sequence through the promenade with sound recorders and photo cameras. You will capture the exisiting space and analyze its potential for acoustic development. Do you want to introduce different ground materials or water sounds? Do you miss sharp echoes, deep hums, or tonal resonances? The surrounding city will be your resource for the collection of sonorous materials and acoustic effects.

Back in our AudioVisual Lab, you will redesign the soundscape of the promenade. Surround composition tools will allow you to place your collected sounds into the recorded sequence. You will then add a selection of photographs to your sequence to recreate an audiovisual interplay with the potential of thinking and sensing space, sound, and vision in a new way.

Notes: The course will be limited to 16 students. Participation on all dates of the course is mandatory.

The site of this Wahlfach is shared with its twin course ‘Walled River’ by the DesignLab of the chair of Landscape Architecture, which is focused on the visual aspects of the site. There will be a common site visit and final critique, and we believe that the two very different approaches and perspectives will yield surprising insights and interesting discussions.

As a thesis elective, you will have the opportunity to implement your acoustic redesign on site by composing a site-specific soundwalk or installation at the Schanzengraben.






Prof. Christophe Girot
Ludwig Berger
Matthias Vollmer
Johannes Rebsamen

CONTACT: Ludwig Berger

Course Blog


21.09.2017, 16:45-18:30 Introduction to Elective Course (HIL H 40.9)

28.09.2017, 16:45-18:30 Guest Lecture on Landscape Acoustics by Kurt Heutschi & Introduction to Sound Recording

30.09.2017, Workshop on site: Walking & Recording (Schanzengraben) (full day)
01.10.2017, Workshop on site: Urban Sampling (City) (full day)

05.10.2017, 16:45-18:30 Introduction to Sound Editing & Preparation for Mid Crit

12.10.2017, 16:45-20:45 Mid Crit: Presentation of workshop results

19.10.2017, 16:45-18:30 Introduction to Video Editing & Development of Concepts

26.10.2017, NO COURSE (Seminar week)

02.11.2017, 16:45-18:30 Work on projects, individual meetings

09.11.2017 16:45-18:30 Work on projects, individual meetings

16.11.2017, 16:45-18:30 Work on projects, individual meetings

23.11.2017, 16:45-18:30 Work on projects, individual meetings

1.12.2017 (!), 13:00-17:00 Final Crit