The breath of sound


Rony Shapira

Diagrams developing the program

Sections that show the relation between the site and the new space:


Areas where the virtual appears in the space (top view):


Human movement and interaction in and around the space (top view):


The “breathing” space was inspired by studying how blood is pumped in and out of the heart, allowing us to breathe. As a result of this investigation I decided to consider two passageways that would “breathe” movement in and out of the space.


The red lines represent the movement of people that is pumped in and out of the passage space:


When thinking about how the space would be an actual “breathing” space I decided to create openings in various increments in the passages. These openings would bring in light (represented in yellow) and air (represented in blue) from the outside environment. The openings would also create a rhythm in the space: 


The relation between the structure and the human scale:

1.    2.

1. In the passages  2. In the larger open space

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Concept, Program

Concept: Awareness of the virtual (the passing, disappearing) through the real (the physical, the evident).

I would like to create a social space in which I would raise awareness to the effects of urbanism (of cars, traffic, noise) on an environment. The space created would be directly effected by its urban surroundings.


-          One part “protected”, one part exposed to the street. Exposed to light and noise, the noise becomes part of the environment in the space.

-          Cause and effect: the environment in the space would be the effect of the urban environment.

-          Dragging, bursting: a continuous space that “drags”, somewhat isolated from the outside.

A central space where the “burst” occurs. This space is open to the street and overlooks it. It shows bursts of light and noise. It shows a burst of activity on the outside and the open inside space allows for a burst of activity on the inside.

-          Breathing: the open space shows the urban “breathing”, the sounds define the rhythm of breathing.

A “breathing” space

-          Appearance and disappearance: the appearance of space vs. the disappearance of space.

Dark space/ passageway. The appearance of light leads to the “appearance” of space.

Continuous openings of light at different intervals allow the space to “appear” and create a rhythm that suggests a breathing of the space

- In order to create a homogeneous structure, it would be build out of a continuous surface that in the dark passageway section would be more dense and in the open space would be more open

- Geometry, shape, appearance: The space acts as a “cover” for people. It is enclosed, and later opens to reveal new ideas.

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Writing about my project and research

The sound of my brother laughing intrigued me because for such a seemingly familiar sound, it had secret connotations in it.

The breathing between each burst of laughter was what interested me the most because to me it had hidden in it the most layers of meaning. The breathing had emotional, structural and dynamic connotations. When I listened to the sound it reminded me of expansion and contraction, of bursting and dragging. I chose to analyze the recurring movement described in the sound.

I simulated my brother’s body movements as he was laughing by tracing the back and forth motion with a flashlight and making a video. I divided the video into frames which displayed every change that occurred in the motion.

The physical experiment I did with the flashlight created a virtual world of possibilities because no movement was exactly alike the one before. The movements appeared and then passed. Although the movement itself disappeared after it happened, traces or “imprints” remained throughout the sequence.

The traces are the remainder of what happened. Through them I could see the effects of the motion which passed as time passed; the effects of something that I couldn’t physically hold on to.

In order to discover the layers and depth of the movement, I traced the frames and made them into a pattern and then layered the patterns to analyze how the movement changed over a span of time.

I looked for a similar phenomenon at the Namir Bridge, and chose to focus on a gap that exists in the bridge. What interested me about this site is that the movement of the cars created shadows which penetrated the gap and changed the lighting under the bridge. This phenomenon reminded me of the expanding and contracting motion of the breathing in my sound. The shadows that penetrated the space represented the traces of the cars passing by.

After analyzing the movements of the shadows by tracing the patterns they created, I created an animation of this phenomenon in order to express how it occurred over time. I focused on the patterns of the shadows as static traces of a motion that is dynamic, occurs over time, and cannot be grasped. The traces created a new environment; a new space in the bridge that relates to an occurrence that already happened, yet creates something new.

Terms to consider:


sound> the way we perceive sound is virtual, mental

motion> motion creates sound, sound describes motion

time> holds infinite possibilities, cannot be held on to physically, cannot be physically quantified

Motion occurs along a span of time. As time cannot be held on to, so motion cannot be grasped.

> an occurrence that can be conceived of mentally. An occurrence that disappears and cannot be held on to, cannot be grasped exactly

Physical: Traces, imprints, footprints, effects

>resulting from something, caused by something                        >static, can be perceived physically, not just mentally   >remaining, part of the landscape

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The surfaces created in the animation represent various motions that pass through the site. What I wanted to express through the animation are the ideas of apparent vs. transparent, dynamic and fleeting vs. static, and the idea of physically grasping something that is as virtual as time.

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