Music, emotion and architecture

Years ago, I sang with a choir called the Schola Polyphonica, under the direction of Maxwell Fernie, in New Zealand. On the rare occasions when we performed, an emotional sense of engagement and connection arose between the singers and the audience, that I have rarely experienced elsewhere. Through rehearsing and performing the music, we were all changed, and somehow brought closer together.

Music seems to create that opportunity and experience, perhaps more than other art forms.

Having made a career shift back to architecture, I’m looking for the same thing. Architecture is not really a performance art (although we do perform in making client and internal presentations). How do we find the same kind of emotional connection to the work? Through the collaborative process? Through drawing?

I wish I knew.

Architecture is certainly very engaging, and the problems are fascinating. Perhaps this is why Zaha Hadid does oil paintings, and Steven Holl and Santiago Calatrava use watercolors – as a way of connecting body to image?

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