Downtown Los Angeles is devoid of life.  LA’s sprawling cityscape promotes and enforces a commuter culture.  People drive to downtown only for work and then immediately leave.  There is nothing to keep them there.  The downtown area is scaled to accommodate the automobile instead of the human body. The Los Angeles Arts District to the east of the downtown core is full of students and artists and a great potential.  My thesis intends to improve the urban environment and reconnect human life back to the city.  Interfacing is a key word for my thesis: the building’s interface with the landscape, both urban and natural, and the people’s interface with the building.  My thesis will be a sensitive reaction to both external and internal phenomena.  I hope to implement my thesis by using sound as a unifying element. There is a famous quote: “music is the universal language of mankind.”  People can focus their view on whatever they decide, but everyone hears the same thing in the same space.  This can be used as an advantage in public space. To me, architecture is about people.  The negative open spaces are just as important as the positive solid buildings that define them.


Select site – open space, parking lots

Proximity to artist lofts/warehouses, sciarc, downtown core

Synthesize site forces – find the essence of the site

transportation – bus, metro, tram, cars, pedestrians

Districts – arts district, little Tokyo, skid row, civic center, etc.

Find nearby galleries, artist lofts, visit sciarc

Site visit – all times of day

Observe “life”, Attend downtown art park.

Build site model


Downtown art park – temporary, once a month happening

Julliard school/Lincoln center, new york – diller scofidio and renfro

Oslo opera house – snøhetta

Domain expert

sound designer

acoustics, materials, geometries, spatial arrangements

Talk to the blind?

Focus on hearing

What effect does sound have on urban environments?

Research spatial sound design, deeper than acoustical sound suppression.



Performing arts school – studios, rehearsal spaces – music, dance, drama? theater

Commercial – record store, art gallery, bar, café, instrument store, etc. retail

Public space

Outdoor/indoor performance spaces


Steen Eiler Rasmussen, Experiencing Architecture

Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin