Today is the official start to our studio project for the summer course. Our project takes place in Bochum, Germany and we are working with the university to create a space for recreation that will, at the same time, block out the noise from the surrounding areas. The area used to be a coal and steel mine and has been partially converted into a park already, while the other half is still in development. Today’s visit involved identifying plants in the area (which is what we usually do), and taking sound samples in different areas throughout the park. These will help us determine not only what kind of vegetation we would include in our designs, but also where to include sound barriers or hotspots. Below is a picture of a student using the NTI sound recording device to take a sound sample:
While it was a fun and new experience, it is definitely not fun when you have to walk around a lot in 97 degrees Fahrenheit clear skies with a sinus infection as well. Our hostel also has no air conditioning or any ceiling fans, so at night, it is still pretty hot at 87 degrees Fahrenheit. The wind also never enters our windows, but the flies can with no problem. Another thing I still haven’t gotten used to, is the fact that the sun sets around 10:30-11PM, while it rises around 5AM. If I close the curtains, the wind that we can possibly get, won’t come through.
Other than the battle with the heat and illness, everything has been pretty fun and interesting. We visited the Coal Mine Industrial Complex in Essen the other day and it is one of the major landmarks within the area. The coal mine is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, and can be seen represented in other parts of Essen, such as the mall we live right across from. It was also amazing that we got to go to a construction site for a pumping station yesterday. It was my first time in a construction site, especially one that had us walk down and up 40 meters.