Composing a Community

Louis Simpson

Beautifulchaos copy
Individuals Create Beautiful Chaos

This thesis is the culmination of my studies at the University of Auckland. Having tried to find ways of incorporating my passion for music with architecture throughout my degree, this project gave me the opportunity to invest my time in fully exploring this cosmic intersection.

My connection with Tāmaki Makaurau as a musician has grown tenuous as I grapple with the bleak prospect of a diminishing creative community. In the wake of the pandemic, local creatives face the impending collapse of their industry, with musicians at the forefront. Globally, cities are eager to rebrand post-Covid, yet the arts sector remains underappreciated when assessing urban progress.

Exploring the dynamic relationship between Architecture and Music, this research centres on nurturing vibrant communities in these fields rather than their technical aspects. It introduces the concept of music ecosystems, which places music within a broader framework akin to natural ecosystems. This underscores the urban "biome" as essential for music, considering the cultural infrastructure required for its flourishing.

The study investigates how architecture supports music ecosystems by influencing infrastructure and facilitating physical aspects of music beyond just sound. In contrast to the traditional static venue, it explores the idea of dynamic "threshold venues" that offer melodic and immersive musical experiences.

To comprehend these ideas locally, this thesis turns to Karangahape Road, a vibrant community deeply connected to music despite the challenges of gentrification, making it an ideal laboratory for nurturing communities and exploring bold interventions in support of music. By engaging with Cross Street, through to St. Kevin’s Arcade and Myers Park, this thesis adopts composition as a methodology. It explores remixed architecture, much like musical remixing, where existing compositions are altered through appropriation and reorchestration while preserving original elements to enhance certain features and attract a broader audience.

Ultimately, this thesis is a call to action, emphasising the importance of nurturing creative communities, particularly in the face of industrial challenges. By harnessing architecture as a tool for communal composition, through an ecological lens, we can ensure the vitality of music and creative communities in Tāmaki Makaurau and beyond.

Compya2landy Page 2 Image 0001 copy
Portfolio A2 Page 3 Image 0001
Portfolio A2 Page 4 Image 0001
Portfolio A2 Page 5 Image 0001
Portfolio A2 Page 2 Image 0001