The work of Nadine Schütz (((Echora))) connects landscape architecture, environmental acoustics, music and psychoacoustics. Exploring the role of sound in landscape perception and design through both practical artistic creations and theoretical research, she carries out projects at various scales. Be it the implementation of audio installations, or the design of acoustic atmospheres and spatialities, her work combines technique and poetry and thus accompanies reflections on urbanity, humanity, landscape and society.
For four years, Nadine Schütz has been heading the MediaLab of the Institute of Landscape Architecture at ETH Zurich alongside Christophe Girot. For her design approach on landscape acoustics, she received the Young Researchers Thinking the Contemporary Landscape awarded 2013 by the Volkswagen Foundation. Her work has been installed in the Migros Museum for Contemporary Art (Zurich), in the Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art, at 3331 Arts Chiyoda (Tokyo) and during the Long Night of the Zurich Museums. In 2018, Nadine Schütz works, amongst others, on the forecourt of the new courthouse at Porte de Clichy in Paris, with Moreau Kusunoki, a land sound promenade for a 300 meters bridge in Saint-Denis by Marc Mimram, and an exhibition scenography about street life in Senegal. She collaborates with the Kyoto Institute of Technology on a repertoire of sonic elements in traditional Japanese gardens, and with BASE paysagistes on the renovation of the Place de la Défense. At ETH Zurich, she has recently accomplished her doctoral thesis on «The Acoustic Dimension of Landscape Architecture», which included the installation of a new lab for sonic landscape spatialization.
Nadine Schütz, born 1983 in Switzerland, lives in Zurich and Paris. She graduated in architecture at ETH Zurich with a diploma on urban landscape design, and complemented these studies with courses in acoustics and music at the ETH Signal and Information Processing Laboratory and at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology at the Zurich University of the Arts. Thus, she has assembled a versatile set of conceptual, artistic and technical skills that allow her to operate towards a new field of environmental art that might be called the work of an architect of sound.
2018.19 Artistic research residency
Sounds are an intrinsic dimension of human environmental relatedness. While contemporary urban landscape planning practice focuses only on the defensive treatment of unwanted sounds, we should rather prepare for the active design of acoustic qualities for public spaces, which becomes increasingly important: beyond the abstract notions of 'noise' and ‘silence’ sound can contribute to a rich environmental experience, offering space for imagination, communication, and urban polyphony. My residency pertains to this context. Its artistic aim is at the same time an operational one: In order to promote the integration of sound in urban landscape projects, the development of respective design tools plays a crucial role. Designing, composing in an urban or landscape environment, always implies working with the given identity of a site, its physical structure, its social conditions, its sonic constellations and acoustic characteristics. The challenge with regard to the artistic exploitation and implementation of such observations goes beyond analysis: it involves sonic composition and acoustic simulation, and calls for respective prefiguration and evaluation methods to be integrated in the design process.
The sophisticated technologies for investigating acoustic and cognitive spatialities developed by the «Acoustic and Cognitive Spaces» team provide relevant tools for both artistic creation and project development in this field, that go beyond the state of the art. The integration of new sounds in an existing urban context furthermore implicates important semantic aspects, which will be addressed with the group «Perception and Sound Design» team, based on its work on lexical and morphological categorization of environmental sounds. The residency will focus on combining these approaches based on a concrete project, the Canopy of Reflections, which will be realized 2019-2021 as part of the renovation of the Place de la Défense. The artistic output is an audible prototype of the installation, a spatial simulation of the sonic experience that the realized project will offer for the future users/visitors of La Défense.