Why Public Silence?
As architects, we wanted to gain more information on the effects that urbanisation will have on our health. Noise pollution appeared to be one of the main problems. The more we build, the more infrastructures we will need, the more of us will live in cities and more noise we will have. This topic, which started as a curiosity became a responsibility for us, in highlighting the problem and to reflect upon it.
At the beginning of the last century many artist reflected on the presence of noises in cities through art expressions. As they dealt with noise at their times, in their own way, it is now our turn to deal with it through our own medium: architecture.
Another reason why we want to address this issue and why it is relevant for our discipline is because we feel it is crucial to reflect what we can do about it as architects, urban designers or creatives. In general designing relating to well-being should be one of the main priorities in our sector. Moreover we should really look at how we will live our lives in the future and how we can start designing with better health standards regarding noise.
Not a lot of people realise the subsequence of constant noise in our lives. Our goal is making people reflect on the importance of this matter by giving them a new experience of the public sphere. Our objective is addressing the topic of noise pollution through silence. We believe it is important starting raising awareness among people. Finding a solution to the problem is not what we are aiming at. What we hope is the beginning of a conversation.
We intend to create an architectural installation as an urban space of silence fitting within the urban fabric. Therefore, our main goal is to positioning it in the interior of a city, either it will be in a street, in a corner, in a passage or in a square. Shape, materials and size of the architectural installation will be designed with the only purpose of reducing noise. It will need to be easy accessible and attractive because we want to deliver the message mainly through the experience itself.
What we have in mind is a dynamic transition space that is part of the urban fabric of Rotterdam, as well as part of people’s daily routes. The idea is for people to across the urban space and experience it like they usually never do. Discovering silence. In this way the impact will be stronger because they will feel a difference on a physical level. The message will be our primary goal. We hope that the experience will make them ruminate on something they usually do not notice, which is very important to be aware of: noise.
We will focus on Rotterdam not only because it is one of the most dense city of The Netherlands, but also because it is a city dedicated to art, architecture and creative experimentation. However in general, our aim is to attract the attention of as many people as possible since it is an issue that concerns all of us.