Paul Bavister- Biometrically Evolved Spaces for Music


Ateliers du Forum Paris 2022

Abstract :


This presentation outlines a new project that offers a novel methodology for the development of new styles of acoustically optimised auditoria and room shape based on biometric sensing and evolutionary computation.


The work is based on established research in emotion and electrodermal activity. If emotional response to sound, space and music can be sufficiently detected in a listener, then it can be used as a fitness function in an interactive evolutionary process. Such a process can be used to generate evolving phenomena or as in this case, to optimise the early reflection sequence of auditoria, that is the surface reflections that occur within 80ms of a sounds propagation.


Optimising early reflections spatially, in distance, azimuth and elevation allows us to develop a unique architectural shell that is developed purely on the relationship between sound, space and the listener.


Listeners are seated in a 2nd order ambisonic sound lab, with biometric sensors (electrodermal activity) picking up an ‘emotional response’ to music and space. The ‘space’ that is being listened to is set up in IRCAM’s SPAT software, and is adaptive and evolving, and responding to the listeners emotional response. The output of the adaptive SPAT environment is driving parametric data in a Grasshopper model generating an architectural form wholly based on the unconscious response of the listener to the music and the evolving space.


The presentation will outline the processes involved and discuss and present the results of tests undertaken in 2021.


Bio :


Paul Bavister is a Senior Lecturer at the Bartlett School of architecture teaching on the Designing for Performance and Interaction course, Paul is also a Project Director at Flanagan Lawrence Architects responsible for leading the practice’s research and development. Paul specialises on projects which include acoustic and performance spaces. 

At Flanagan Lawrence, Paul is currently leading the design team on a project for the BBC's new Eastbank Studios, which will deliver state-of-the-art performance and recording facilities on a new Olympic Park Site. Paul was also project architect of the Soundforms designed Rady Shell in San Diego as well as the award-winning Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff.

Paul is also a PhD candidate at University College London, focusing on technology, sound and space.

@Paul Bavister 

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