Urban Sound Mapping in Sound Art and Built Environment

Conor McCafferty

In this thesis, the author situates urban sound mapping – a creative practice emerging from sound art, sound studies and acoustic ecology – in new territories of architecture, planning and urbanism. The thesis examines sound maps epistemologically, unpacking the rich assemblages of knowledge they hold and the wide range of purposes that they exhibit. It presents a catalogue of web-based sound maps which serves as source material for a reading of sound maps as participatory platforms. The thesis also asks how sound maps can be used as tools for teaching and learning about urban space in both formal and informal learning contexts, and, through field experiments, it investigates how acoustic cartographies can be applied as part of specific enquiries into urban space. The thesis concludes by proposing a new, speculative model for urban sound mapping at localized and specific urban scales, using multimodal representational tactics that can address future transformations of sound environments.

This PhD was co-supervised with Dr Simon Waters, QUB: SARC and Prof. Gascia Ouzounian, University of Oxford.


A digital resource communicating the work of Architecture at Queen's University Belfast