Architecture, Sound, Sustainability

Course Description

ENGL 1102, Section SF6, Swann 115
Georgia Tech, Summer 2018

Lauren Neefe, Ph.D. /
Office: Skiles 301
Office hours: Tue & Thu noon–1PM and by appointment
Preferred pronouns: she, her, hers

This course in multimedia rhetoric is part of the summer iGniTe SLS program in sustainability. Working from the premise that social equity and communal equity are integral to sustainable futures, the course asserts the importance of sound to our experience of the spaces we live in. It further posits that sound powerfully communicates who belongs in a place or space and who does not, even when that space is designated as public or shared. We will give special attention to spaces in and around Georgia Tech. An initial unit builds our vocabulary for identifying and analyzing sounds, silence, and modes of listening in the spaces we move through and inhabit. The remainder of the class will be devoted to applying these concepts to studying and researching the university’s Living Building (Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design, under construction at the corner of Ferst Drive and State Street) and the Proctor Creek Greenway, to the west off campus. Through a number of individual and group activities, from listening walks and participatory design to documentary field recording and building interactive tours, we will identify specific issues of sound and equity that address the Equity Petal of the Living Building Challenge. In a final reflective portfolio, you will assemble individual artifacts and process documents as evidence to support an argument that you have achieved selected course objectives.

This course is part of Georgia Tech’s Serve-Learn-Sustain (SLS) initiative, uniting classroom learning with community action. SLS works with all six colleges to offer courses and programs connecting sustainability and community engagement with real-world partners and projects, allowing students to use their disciplinary expertise related to science and technology to help “create sustainable communities” where humans and nature flourish, now and in the future, in Georgia, the U.S., and around the globe. More information about SLS can be found at Visit the website to sign up for the SLS Email List, view the full list of affiliated courses, and find links to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Support from SLS has enabled guest lectures and recording workshops with professional radio producers in this course. Attendance at the BeltLine tour, iGniTe workshops, and guest lectures is required. Participating in selected SLS events is encouraged and, if explored in writing, will result in extra credit.

We will be taking a required trip to the Proctor Creek Greenway to record sounds for our third unit on documenting the sound of equity. You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the Bankhead MARTA station ($2.50 each way + $1 Breeze card purchase.) You must fill out and submit to me the liability waiver.

All readings and podcasts will be either posted on the Schedule page of this website or available on Canvas > Files in the folder designated for that week.

You should bring a laptop (yours or borrowed from the library) as well as paper and pencil/pen to every class.

You should have access to the Microsoft Office software suite and the Adobe Design suite, either on your computer or via one of the university’s media labs. The university also has shared licenses for use of many software programs available through cloud on VLab.

You will also need a Twitter account to satisfy part of your participation grade. You may use either an existing account or set up a special account for your participation in this course.