The Bohlen-Pierce Symposium
First symposium on the Bohlen-Pierce scale, Boston, March 7 – 9, 2010
Lieberman: the SPACE between NOTES


The limits of architectural space are set by the physical constraints of containment and are, more often than not, defined by the dimensional register of a visually perceived and conventionally accepted system of measurement and representation. The proposition rests in the assertion that aural perception is a more intuitive and natural means by which we both perceive and occupy spatial constructs. In an appreciation of the both conscious and unconscious recognition of distance and dimension, volume and proportion, and material resonance, it is the aural which critically identifies the emotive qualities of architecture in its expanse and in its intimacies. Material resonance responding to the choreographic movement through space, complete with moments of pause and the frictions of engagement with others, is registered though aural cognition. Sound, or rather acoustics, must be a fundamental principle of design conception and development of an architectural idea. The music of architecture is evident in its articulate resolution.

The paper is situated within a larger body of work considering architecture as a performing art, not a fine art, in that understanding of its composition and intent is a continually evolving and eroding condition as perceived through the tenancy and occupancy of its use. The thesis is not only a pedagogical principle of teaching, but is set as a condition for an inclusive and responsible theory to be incorporated in practice.