Session 38, Echoes of Space: Exploring Aural Architecture Across Eras


This presentation offers a concise introduction to the field of acoustics followed by an exploration of the sonic experiences within architectural spaces throughout history. Case studies span Paleolithic caves, ancient Egyptian tombs, Renaissance churches, and Safavid architecture in Isfahan. Through archaeological and historical research, each case study unveils findings and hypotheses regarding the influence of architectural space on aural culture and musical identity. Moreover, this discussion highlights the challenges inherent in such research stemming from the transient nature of sound.

Suggested Reading: 

Speaker’s Biography: 

Nima Farzaneh is an architectural designer and researcher in the musical and architectural acoustics domain, working toward a Ph.D. at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University. He holds a bachelor's degree in architecture and M.S. in landscape architecture from Iran. In 2010 he moved to the U.S. and studied at Pratt Institute's post-professional architecture M.S. program focused on computation and design. After practicing architecture in New York City from 2011 to 2019, he went to RPI (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) to specialize in architectural acoustics. 


His research interest is primarily the study of acoustics in Iran's historical architectural spaces and its correlation with the region's aural traditions, rituals, and music. Having an interest in working with new media, he incorporates technologies such as virtual acoustics, VR, and immersive experience for recreating architectural spaces and space-based musical experiences.