This case study piloted an experiment to design a water soundscape with waterfalls using the recycled water meter box, covers and other materials with inspiration from the Suikinkutsu, an ancient Japanese garden music device. The objectives of the experiment were to make the composition of design elements visually pleasing by following the Zen garden design principles of simplicity with primitive numbers and to create a water soundscape that is harmonious in design with visual and aural effects in a residential garden setting. The construction methods, the soundscape implications, the design principles, the visual effects, and the spatial composition of design elements were investigated. The sound waves were recorded and analyzed; their waveforms were compared among themselves and with sound waves from the traditional thirteen-stringed Koto “Harp” and the two-stringed violin. The sound perceptions, such as pitch, duration, loudness, timbre, sonic texture, and spatial location were also analyzed. Finally, the design elements were documented in a table format with primitive numbers for easy descriptive explanation and summation. This experiment demonstrated that displaced water meter boxes and covers, though ordinary looking could be recycled with artistic inspiration. As more urban development encroach the natural landscape, the essences of this experiment, to create a soundscape that allows people to immerse their imagination into it with open ears and relaxed mind become imperative. In addition, the spatial composition of the design elements and their relationship can be explained in a spatial structure and pattern with primitive numbers while achieving harmonious visual and aural perceptions. The soundscape widened the perceptions and provided another spectrum of experience in life; this experiment discovered that Mother Nature could create its own rhythmic music when the soundscape environment is available.
|Keywords:||Soundscape, Zen Garden, Design Principles, Visual Effects, Aural Architecture, Primitive Numbers|
Emeritus Professor, Landscape Architecture Program, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA
Assistant Professor, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA