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The Ragged School Blog Deptford

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thames Gateway Podwalk

As part of Architecture Week 2006 in June, Wayne Hemingway the designer has recorded a podwalk, taking listeners from Greenhithe station for a 2-3 mile walking audiotour. The great thing about podwalking is the fact that its just an mp3 file like any other which you can listen to at home (with or without a mp3 player). The tour is a critique of the regeneration schemes around the Thames Gateway from a designer well known for his contribution the debate on architecture and urban planning. As a walking audio tour, the commentary serves as both a guide to the riverside and a context rich narrative about landscape.

Anyone with a voice recorder can make a podwalk and host it for others to listen to. The genre is still very new as audioguides are traditionally studio produced and distributed in a closed setting. Podwalking, audioblogging and podcasting can be recorded using a cheap mike directly into a computer or out in the field with any recording equipment. You can record a single take with no editing, or collect material and put is together with background sounds and music to produce a professional programme. You can even meet in a cafe or pub and record directly into a laptop.

So as part of the OpenStreetMap project, my friend Nick Hill was interviewed by Steve Coast in a pub in Camden. The resulting interview (about using GPS to share map data) shows how podcasting is a new route to engage audiences in projects.

An interesting twist happened at the Hayward Gallery recently during the retrospective of Dan Flavin. The gallery created a website which allowed visitors to download 6 ambient soundscapes to be played back during your visit to the gallery. The sounds were specifically created as a compliment to the exhibition space.


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