3D Hong Kong Topophonies

Project: Research project

Project Details


This research is rooted in both soundscape studies for its research methodology and data collection, and media arts for its outcomes. The field of soundscape studies and acoustic ecology has contributed to raise awareness on our complex relationship with our environment and sense of place through sounds, as well as on the value of sound preservation. In addition, media arts practices such as sound compositions, installations or immersive audio-visual works have also contributed to open up our perception and understanding of environmental sounds.

With this particular background, this research project aims to create an online and offline digital archive to experience, reimagine and reinterpret soundscapes from Hong Kong as intangible heritage using 3D sound recording and reproduction technologies. This will be achieved through the use of state-of-the-art ambisonic sound recording technology. Five representative types of landscapes in Hong Kong (new town, old town, village, industrial town, natural environment) will be documented to form the foundation of an archive to preserve the sounds of Hong Kong. Specific metadata will serve to navigate the two actualizations of this archive: a sound map of Hong Kong as a web- application with binaural sounds and a multichannel ambisonic sound installation for an embodied immersive experience.

To lead this project successfully different taskforces will be set up to work in parallel. The first phase of the project (2 months) will focus on consolidating the Research Assistant team, selecting the different locations, and to conform the precise protocol to collect data. The second phase of the project (15 months) will be dedicated to field work to capture, edit, analyse, and catalogue the soundscapes and oral histories using metadata. The third phase of the project (11 months) will focus on the creation of the interfaces for both the web application and the interactive sound installation.

With the involvement of various grassroots’ communities, cultural organisations, and professional societies in the data collection and as identified users, the project will raise awareness on the importance of studying soundscape not only in terms of noise pollution but also in terms of an interdisciplinary and positive understanding in its role in regards to new form of knowledge of a place, well-being and sustainability. This comprehensive digital archive will not only preserve the sound of Hong Kong as an historical document, but also support creative and interdisciplinary research by contributing material under the Creative Commons License, and a framework to be transferred to different geographical contexts.
Effective start/end date1/01/22 → 30/04/24


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