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IGuzzini Travelling Award

Euphonic Engine, West Smithfield.

Part 1 Project 2007
Arya Safavi
University of Westminster London UK
The ‘Euphonic Engine’ deals with the transition of poetry from a predominantly oral to a textual tradition, the elimination of sound throughout its course, and the eradication of performance, and the chance to experience it first-hand. Poetry creates its effects by dramatization of an explicable meaning, by initiating an intimacy through musicality, recurring patterns of sound, disruptions, and by the movement and evolution of tone through a whole piece of work. Similarly, the building as a whole is experienced as series of successive disappearances and revelations where one has to deal with the notion of
Something which is uncontrollable and ephemeral, where one has to negotiate one’s own space as what is seen is a mixture of what the eyes see and what the space is willing to show.

Materiality, Light, and weather conditions directly influence temporal changes in the way the building is perceived and experienced. Apart from the modification of the entering volume of light, Openings and layering of the weathering steel panels diversifies the sonic qualities of spaces depending on the humidity, wind, and rust.

The building provides spaces for poetry to be recorded, performed, and listened to both individually and collectively as well as archiving facilities for books and digital recordings.

Arya Safavi


To have ones advice (that a studio programmes should be seen as a licence
for self motivated study, and respectful challenge) taken seriously is
always a delight. When done by a well read, pacesetter like Arya Safavi,
this can require some keeping up.

In contrast to our suggested sensitive reference to the interiors and
typologies that make West Smitfield the architectural encyclopaedia that it
is, he contributes more a refreshing new inclusion in the form of a poetry
reading archive.

Like his project, Arya is quietly rigorous, painstaking and innovative.

As his iceberg-like, deeply subterranean proposal understates its
contribution to Smithfield so this project is little more than the tip of a
rich undergraduate portfolio.

2007
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