Year three final project. Evocation of the Lost Sense: The Upper Derwent Monastery | 聾人修道院
Hidden deeply in the forest of the Upper Derwent Valley to the north of Howden Reservoir of the Peak District national park, the site is attractive as it remains a peaceful landscape and brings some fresh silence to the people coming from the noisy society. The area is currently owned by a number of water companies and access of vehicles to the whole area is usually controlled thus visitors mostly choose to ride bicycles or horses as an easier way. It is why the area is popular that it sits away from towns but not too far where noise is just avoided, whereas it is still convenient to reach.
As a special group of people in an unfamiliar society, the deaf encounter an unfair treatment and are hardly accepted by the majority. Being unable to hear is largely depressive, somehow, as one sense loses, they would theoretically gain much greater potentials on other senses than a full-hearing people - these even raises the pap between the deaf and the hearing. However, an opportunity is desired to give respect to explore the hidden potential of their sensitive perceptions. The monastery is a place where it brings faith to the deaf and works as a media to introduce a parallel world, in where deaf may 'hear' by the ear of hearts.
The architecture seeks a phenomenological way to capture and perceive the impressions of sound and to help the deaf to experience via senses of seeing, touching and imagination. However, the experience of hearing the sound of soundless is extremely challenging and would be, to great extents, entirely different from what a normal person experiences.
The project is a complex of chapel, residence and spaces for eating and bath.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2001) — CHICAGO (Nov. 27) -- Deaf people sense vibration in the part of the brain that other people use for hearing – which helps explain how deaf musicians can sense music, and how deaf people can enjoy concerts and other musical events. “These findings suggest that the experience deaf people have when ‘feeling’ music is similar to the experience other people have when hearing music. The perception of the musical vibrations by the deaf is likely every bit as real as the equivalent sounds, since they are ultimately processed in the same part of the brain,” says Dr. Dean Shibata, assistant professor of radiology at the University of Washington.
This project is inspired by a product named ‘Bone vibration conductor. Sound information is captured and transferred in a form of vibration, through a close contact to the skin, the product greatly helps understand appreciate sound without hearing.
In this project, similar principle is studied. The picture is a key installation of the pipe organ mechanism. An additional dynamic projection is added to the typical mechanism in order to allow its audiences appreciate the music by senses of seeing. Meanwhile, vibration created by organ pipes is transferred directly in a particular way to the back of the audience.
Year Three Final Project. Xutong Zhao. Department of the Built Environment. University of Nottingham. Fall 2012.