Vessel.FM is a sound workshop founded by architect Nick Sowers in 2018. The workshop produces tactile and immersive installations ranging from the scale of the human body to entire buildings.
Sound + Architecture
The work begins by tracing entanglement—the interconnectedness of bodies and landscapes. Through site investigations and field recordings, Nick teases out layers of sound across the natural and manmade spectrum. These sounds are evidence of entanglement, forming raw materials for the production of architectural space.
As a kind of scaffolding, architectural form is instrumentalized to express sounds. Nick has developed ambient panels which create diffused sonic surfaces, emulating the way that sound naturally comes to our ears. Walls become diaphragms for transmitting sound. Microphones further serve as deep listening windows, supplanting the endlessly consumed “view”. Sound architecture thus produces thickened spaces in which entangled bodies are permitted a voice and entangled landscapes have an ear.
Nick has worked and exhibited internationally at the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism and has been published in Wallpaper, Frieze, Places, Design Observer, and BLDG BLOG. Nick is also a co-founder of the landscape collective DEMILIT, which produces texts, soundscapes, and guided walks around the subject of militarized landscapes and cities. DEMILIT has been broadcast on Deutschland Radio, exhibited at the Istanbul Design Biennale, given walking tours for institutions such as the Headlands Center of the Arts, and published written work in Harvard Design Magazine among others.
Entanglement precedes any set of relations established by the built environment. As a process to resist the divisive values projected by forms of authority, we must amplify the voices pre-existing us. Some of these voices are natural sounds; others are human voices which have been drowned out. It is not enough to amplify a voice. The duty of sound architecture is to construct the means for listening to voices, augmenting our hearing and connecting us deeply to each other and to our environment.
Nick can be reached by email at <<nick at vessel.fm>>