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Conor McCafferty, PhD Researcher with the Recomposing the City research group, Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been selected to take part in Sound @ Nissan, an innovative urban development project led by the Harp Art Lab in Halmstad, Sweden. Conor is one of ten people selected to develop work during April-September 2016.

The Sound @ Nissan project will use sound art methods and processes to inform the planning and design of a new residential area close to the Nissan river: "The project aims to use sound as a tool in the urban development process of Tullkammarkajen in Halmstad. The new residential area is planned to develop along Nissan - the river that runs through Halmstad, Sweden. The area will consist of a mixed development in its content, predominantly residential residences (600 units) and it will be the 'future portal to Halmstad by the water'."

In his PhD project, Conor is researching the use of sound maps as a means of urban analysis and participatory engagement, asking how built environment professionals and residents can develop their understanding of urban spaces through sound. For this project, he will work with local residents, architects, planners and other stakeholders to explore the urban environment with sound maps.

Conor will also participate in the Bzzz International Sound Art Festival to make research, follow the work at Harp Art Lab, meet artists and local residents and explore the areas close to the Nissan river.


I am a PhD researcher based at the Sonic Arts Research Centre(SARC), Queen’s University, Belfast. I am in the second year of my research project, working as part of the Recomposing the City research group at Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
My PhD research is titled Urban acoustic cartography: Sound mapping as a tool forparticipatory urban analysis and pedagogy.

My research considers the pedagogical potential of soundmapping in understanding urban environments, and the potential use of soundmaps in situations of site analysis. It is an interdisciplinary project between sonic arts and architecture. The research examines soundmapping practices, bringing this diverse, heterogeneous range of sonic arts practices into dialogue with architecture and urban planning.

I have experience leading workshops on urban sound. I have worked with students, researchers across disciplines, communitygroups, and the general public to explore soundmapping methods and techniques. I also have six years’ experience working with PLACE, a not-for-profit architecture centre in Belfast, specialising in public engagement in architecture and urban planning through education projects.

I was recently published in the Journal of Sonic Studies (no. 11,2016) writing about projects at PLACE that involved sound art and public engagement in the built environment (https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/234169/234170).


Harp Art Lab, Harplinge Väderkvarn, Sweden
July 1-2, 2016, 19.00-22.00

Nissan, Halmstad, Sweden
Sept 9-11, 2016

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Harp Art Lab | Harplinge Windmill | Sweden