Drawing Together

Teaching + Research Directed by Niall McLaughlin Architects

Sound Design

In addition to the beauty of a collaborative live drawing across distinct spaces, how could we sonically create that sense of a shared community?

The lecture was designed to coincide with the weekly clap for carers in the UK, so it featured in the drawing exercise.

But to take it further, my brief originally was to create the sound of clapping at the end as the camera pans back to reveal the drawing, first a single person clapping as we saw individual designs, then streetwide as we saw more of the drawing, then neighbourhood scale as we panned out further. Clapping sounds the same no matter who you are so it's a great universal language.

Then the thought occured : what would happen if we slowly effected the clapping over a couple of minutes to sound as though it was coming from the next room, to blend what we are hearing through computer speakers amnd headphones with what we would be hearing starting in the street outside? To bring the digital experience into the physical world seamlessly?

When this moment arrived at the end of the lecture, for a few delicious minutes there was a bit of confusion with people walking to their windows or taking their headphones off while still on the Zoom chat, and then walking back to their computers and headphones, and then back to the window as they tried to figure out what was going on. For a short period you could see they felt as though they were within the lecture. Like going from watching a rainstorm to being in the middle of it.

As the clapping faded on the computer, people went outside, but the transition added to the impact of the lecture overall, reinforcing its key message and created a seamless continuity between physical and digital. It added weight to the digital experience and enhanced the sense of collective community.