Urban living is not only about getting older, it is also about getting stressed. Stress is the unspecific physiological and psychological reaction to perceived threats to our physical, psychological or social integrity. â€“ LSE Cities, London School of Economics and Political Science
“I found myself in a sea in which the waves of joy and sorrow were clashing against each other” ” – Naguib Mahfouz, A Nobel Prize writer
Nature and music as a remedy: inviting London commuters and musicians to celebrate the coast and make cities sing for the sea. In 2015, the National Trust will celebrate its 120th anniversary and its successful conservation campaign “Neptune Coastline Campaign” will celebrate its 50th anniversary. In order to highlight the National Trust’s achievement of coastal conservation, “British Soundscape”, an online open source platform, presents a collection of sea sounds collected from the National Trust’s coastal properties such as Brownsea Island, to inspire musicians. In spring 2014, as part of the campaign “#SingForSea”, musicians will perform the sea-inspired music in London stations to encourage commuters to visit the seaside in the care of the Neptune Coastline Campaign during the summertime. At the end of 2014, all the sea-inspired music works will be picked for an upcoming album collection, “British Soundscape 2015: The Symphony Between Human And Nature”, as part of the National Trust’s celebration activities in both metropolitan cities and the Trust’s coastal properties. Nature and music as a remedy: inviting you to celebrate the coast with the National Trust – Make Cities Sing For the Sea. The British Soundscape website: http://britishsoundscape.com British Soundscape music video: http://vimeo.com/81520000 Project Director | Design Director | Irene Yen-Hsuan Shih Service Design | Royal College of Art email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Baroque Violin | MPerf, Historical Performance | Emily R. Hale Film Director | Cinematographer | Yuen Hsieh Visual Designer | Photographer | Erco Laii
Table Of Content
Executive Summary Acknowledgments 1. Introduction 1.1. Brief 1.2. Target Audience 1.3. Background 2. Development 2.1. Interviews with National Trust people 2.2. Interview with liberal opinions of London 2.3. Urban Stress 2.4. Passengers of London 3. Design and Implementation 3.1. Design Strategy 3.2. Design Propositions 3.3. Design Evaluation 4. Conclusion
“Look after special places, for ever, for everyone” – National Trust I sincerely appreciate all the help and support from the National Trust, Royal College of Music, National Rail, and Royal College of Art. For all my tutors from the Service Design Programme: Dr. Nick de Leon, Carolyn Runcie, Dan Phillips, Qian Sun, Ben Reason, and Neal Stone, and Joe Kerr, the head of the CHS Programme. Your feedback has always led me in the right direction, which made a significant impact on my work. Also, Mike Wyeld from the Sound Studio and John Peverall from the Audio Visual Service, thank you for your instruction that helped me to present the beauty of natural sounds; and Sue Bradburn, the Media Relations & Marketing Manager of the Royal College of Art, I sincerely appreciate your help in promoting my project British Soundscape. I am also very grateful for all the input and inspiration from the National Trust from the summer of 2014 until today. The story of British Soundscape began with my volunteering experience with the National Trust and TEIA, Taiwan Environmental Information Association. During that time, I met the brilliant people who stood for the Neptune Coastline Campaign: Reuben Hawkwood, Head Ranger, Brownsea Island; Val Whiteley, Administrator, Brownsea Island; Alison Joseph, Visitor Experience Manager, Dunwich Heath; Richard Gilbert, Senior ranger, Dunwich Heath; Mark Wardle, Head warden, East Head and Slindon Estate; David Mason, Life project manager, Orford Ness; Duncan Kent, Ranger, Orford Ness; and Virginia Portman, General manager, White Cliff on Dover. I appreciate all the precious knowledge and experience they shared with me. Furthermore, it’s my great pleasure to work with the National Trust London Project. Thanks are owed to Ivo Dawnay, Director of London; Joseph Watson, Programme Manager of the London Project; Natasha Vicars, Programme Coordinator for the London Project; James Breslin, House Manager at the Red House. The experience that we worked on together was very impressive. Also, the following people I met at the National Trust 2014 AGM, or who were introduced to me by my tutors, gave me
great guidance and inspiration for British Soundscape. Thank you very much indeed for sharing with me your thoughts and ideas, which was an invaluable gift for me as a design student: Alex Hunt, Assistant Director of External Affairs, Media & External Affairs; Caroline Bowyer, Giving Programmes Manager; Phil Dyke, Coast and Marine Adviser; Richard Neale, Coastal Engagement Manager for Wales; Sal Erskine, Canoeing Development Manager; Tony Flux, Coast and Marine Adviser (SW). Eventually, I must show my deep gratitude to these talented musicians from all over the world: Emily R. Hale, Daniel Serafini, Guillermo Martinez, Meilyr Jones, from the Royal College of Music, and Max LL, a composer and songwriter from Montreal. You all are a great inspiration for me and my project, British Soundscape. Itâ€™s thanks to all of you that the city can sing for the sea. Also, to many of my interviewees: you shaped the project, British Soundscape, together with me, and I appreciate all your input. In the end, Iâ€™d like to express my the most grateful appreciation to everyone who helped me to accomplish my project British Soundscape. You are all sparkling stars in the sky, and the city has become bright and brilliant, thanks to your contribution. Thank you very much.
1.1 Brief “How can we engage with the young metropolitan people in celebrating the coast through connecting their urban daily life with the achievement of Neptune Coastline Campaign, in order to higher the National Trust’s profile and provide more relevant, attractive, accessible and affordable experience for them?” I developed the problem statement based on my volunteering experience with the National Trust, work experience with the London Project team, the research and analysis of the National Trust’s annual report, and my participation in the 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and the interviews with my target audience and relevant experts. I’ll explain the development of the brief in more detail in the following sessions. To sum up, the brief has three main goals: 1. Promote the achievement of Neptune Coastline Campaign over half a century 2. Reinforce the current connection between British people and the sea 3. Reach out to a broader audience, the huge population in metropolitan cities in the UK
1.2. Target Audience “The London Project aims to higher the National Trust’s profile, and provide more for members and our target audience to do” – Ivo Dawnay, The London Director According to the National Trust 2013 annual report, the incomes from membership and visiting properties account for 60% of the total, which indicates that the members and visitors to properties might be the most important stakeholders for the trust. The average profile of the NT members and visitors comprises the middle-aged, the elderly, and families, but research shows that young metropolitan people, the “liberal opinion” aged between 25-40, will one day be National Trust members.1 Therefore, how can we speed up this transition process? 1.3. Background The National Trust has 7% of the UK population as members, but in London, it goes down to 5%. The capital of the UK, London, has 12.5% of the UK population, which is huge, younger and more mobile.2 Nowadays, many metropolitan cities with a huge population are inland in the UK, which means a great potential for National Trust and the Neptune Coastline Campaign to work on. The London Project is an exercise to be scaled up in other places with similar metropolitan audiences. In 2015, the National Trust will celebrate its 120th anniversary and its successful conservation campaign “Neptune Coastline Campaign” will celebrate its 50th anniversary. How can we make the Neptune Coastline Campaign more relevant, engaging and attractive for the broader audience, the huge metropolitan population in the UK? Based on the above points, I’ll elaborate on the process of developing the design solution in the next paragraph.
1 The London Project Team, 2013 2 The London Project Team, 2013
“I found myself in a sea in which the waves of joy and sorrow were clashing against each other” – Naguib Mahfouz, A Nobel Prize writer 2.1. Interviews with National Trust staff In order to understand the challenges, the exciting projects and campaigns, and the achievements that have already been developed by the trust, I interviewed and met with about 25 people who work in different departments of the National Trust across the UK. I sincerely appreciate their input and feedback for my project. I worked as a volunteer in September 2013, and I visited Dunwich Heath, Orford Ness National Nature Reserve, East Head, Studland Beach, Brownsea Island, Sandbanks, White Cliff of Dover, and Heelis, National Trust Headquarters in Swindon. Meeting with the local rangers and managers was truly a great learning experience for me. It inspired me and allowed me to gain insights from those experts working on the ground. They are brilliant people who have been looking after the beautiful British coastline for years and years. And they are passionate about educating the young generation, in order to communicate the importance of coastal conservation – but up to now, there has been no direct platform to begin the conversation between the local rangers and the young metropolitan people. “I would say anything that encourages young people to think about environmental conservation is a good idea” – Reuben Hawkwood, Head Ranger of Brownsea Island The local rangers know the best about their special places: the changing shore, the moving sandbank, and the rich habitat for birds and marine animals. But how can we communicate this with our target audience?
I went to the National Trust Annual General Meeting (AGM) in October 2013, where I met Caroline Bowyer, Giving Programmes Manager, and Alex Hunt, Assistant Director of External Affairs Media & External Affairs. I was lucky to share my ideas with them and discussed how I could develop my ideas into work. Therefore, I could learn about some of the ongoing activities for the big celebrations in 2015. “One thing we know is that a huge number of households have a memento they’ve taken from the seashore – a pebble, or a shell, or other souvenir – which shows how people in Britain, even if they live inland, have a strong connection with the sea” – Alex Hunt, Assistant Director of External Affairs Also, the Chairman of the National Trust, Simon Jenkins, suggested that I should work with the London Project, which is run as an exercise to engage with the younger metropolitan audience. Therefore, I began to work with the London Project team during a collaborative programme with The London Project and Royal College of Art from late October to November 2013. I was very lucky to work with Ivo Dawnay, Director of London; Joseph Watson, Programme Manager of the London Project; Natasha Vicars, Programme Coordinator for the London Project, and students from different programmes at the Royal College of Art. As a team, we developed a viral social media campaign #NTHouseproud, to make the National Trust relevant in an urban environment and celebrate the love of London through owned and unowned properties. In this project, I learnt a lot from my team members: Channing Ritter, Kit Stiby Harris and Anna Alexander. The above experiences were invaluable for me to learn how the National Trust works to engage the younger audience on the ground. During the same time, I conducted in-depth interviews with my target audience based in London, which I will discuss below.
2.2. Interview with liberal opinions of London I interviewed more than ten “liberal opinion” based in London. Here are some quotes from my interviewees that show their perspectives and attitudes towards coastal conservation and National Trust: “We went out for holidays to a seaside resort, which recommended by my friends. I liked the sea so much and even didn’t want to go back London” – a graduate student “It’s not relevant to my life. Why do I have to care about or even clean up the beach?” – an architect “I want to have something exciting and fun, like a club or a pub” – an animator “I don’t think young people really understand National Trust... You said they’ve been running over 100 years? Neptune Campaign? ”- a designer Visiting the seaside could be relaxing and fun, but it seems that coastal conservation is not relevant or attractive for our target audience. So how can I deal with this? A Great TED Talk, “Art Inspiring Action To Protect Our Oceans” suggested a possible direction. “After a hard day’s work, we want to relax, we don’t want to be reminded of the world’s problems, especially abstract issues such as ocean destruction. We replace it by pop culture, fashion, and return to the mainstream media to escape. But it’s here that leads to decisive actions.” - Shawn Heinrichs at TED Talk3
That was a very important transition of my design process – turning serious environmental issues into enjoyable experiences. And that is exactly what the National Trust dedicates to do: educating the public through providing enjoyable experiences. So, what makes this experience? Can we make it relevant, attractive, accessible and affordable for our target audience? Basically, experience is made up of the following: vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch. And which of the above elements would be the best for me to create an attractive experience for my target audience? “I traveled pretty far from home, collecting sounds around the world, for music. I can’t express the world by pictures or words, so I love music” – Max LL, a composer & songwriter I summed up with sounds. Sea sounds are like magic that can bring people back to their best memories of the seaside, and it’s relaxing, attractive and engaging for not only my target audience but also for people of all ages.
2.3. Urban Stress Based on the above research and interviews, I turned to study urban stress, which is a common issue for my target audience. According to the Office for National Statistics, London commuters are the most anxious people in the UK.4 How can I enable these stressful people to relax, and recall their love for the sea? In so doing, we may be able to educate them about the importance of coastal conservation. Many metropolitan cities are inland in the UK. Take London for example, with its younger population, amongst which are a great number of artists, designers and musicians. “I’m looking for opportunities, a performance or teaching, which I don’t think the college gives us enough support for that” – a Royal College of Music student Musicians are also seeking new opportunities to showcase their talent. How can we bring them together – anxious Londoners, talented musicians, and the National Trust, which has been working in coastal conservation for near 50 years and has the best understanding of the beautiful British landscape?
2.4. Passengers of London I mentioned the huge metropolitan population of the UK, and I stated that London commuters are the most anxious people in the UK. Thus, everyday, 214,000 passengers pass through Waterloo Underground Station. Every year, there are over 94 million passenger entries and exits.5 So how can I enable them to feel happier and more relaxed? The TfL Busking Scheme has done great work and it’s reached a unique audience of around 3.5 million Tube passengers every day.6 “They overwhelmingly agreed that hearing classical music made them feel happy, less stressed and relaxed” – A survey of 700 commuters conducted by TfL7 “There is no doubting Mozart’s prodigious talent, as this radio season attests... The familiarity of so much of his magnificent music may surprise some travellers, but what better way to brighten up the daily commute, especially on the first day back after the holidays” – Boris Johnson, Mayor of London8 In 2013, the National Trust has 3.93 million members and 19.2 million visitors,9 who have had enjoyable and unforgettable experiences here. How can we engage the stressful London commuters in celebrating the coast through connecting their daily life with the achievements of the Neptune Coastline Campaign? Here comes my original idea: Nature and music as a remedy, and it is the beginning of British Soundscape.
5 http://www.london.gov.uk/ 6 http://www.tfl.gov.uk/
9 Annual reports 2012/13, National Trust
3. Design and Implementation
“I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide “Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied; And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying, And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying” – “Sea Fever”, John Masefield
3.1. Design Strategy Nature and music as a remedy, we are inviting London commuters to celebrate the coast. British Soundscape is a live project in collaboration with musicians and the sea. The website of British Soundscape is an open-source platform for anxious commuters, National Trust rangers, and London-based musicians. The campaign #SingForSea is its entry point which will be launched in spring 2014. The design strategy aims to: 1. Represent the achievement of National Trust’s Neptune Coastline Campaign in a novel and engaging way. 2. Recall the anxious London commuters’ love for nature, their best memory of the seaside, and then release their urban stress. 3. Invite London-based musicians to celebrate the coast with their creativity and talents, and provide them with new inspirations and stages on which to perform. I’ll elaborate the details of these design propositions in the following sections.
Provide musicians with new inspirations and stages on which to perform.
Encourage urban commuters to visit the seaside in care of National Trust Represent the achievement of National Trustâ€™s Neptune Coastline Campaign
Invite London-based musicians to celebrate the coast with their creativity
Nature and music as a remedy: Inviting Londoners to celebrate the coast with National Trust
Nature and music as remedy, release the urban stress by sea-inspired music
People With Urban Stress
Recall anxious London commutersâ€™ love for nature, and their best memory of the seaside
3.2. Design Propositions (1) British Soundscape An open-source platform for anxious commuters, National Trust rangers, and London-based musicians. The website has the following features:
1. Sounds: The sea sounds were collected from Brownsea Island, one of the National Trust properties located in Poole Harbour. The page shows the video, the sound clip, and the map of the National Trust coastal property where the sea sounds were collected. 2. Visitor Information: All the pages have a link to the National Trust website, which will show detailed visitor information. 3. Free download: The website is linked to the SoundCloud, where all the sea sounds are free and available to download for musicians and our audiences.
4. Message: This is a platform to enable local rangers to share their ideas and stories with a broader audience. Here are real quotes from my interviews: “Please don’t buy a disposable BBQ - they all got left on the beach after summer” – Mark Wardle, Head Warden, East Head “It doesn’t look special - but the swamp has its rich biodiversity just as rainforest has ” – Mark Wardle, Head Warden, East Head “We’re not celebrating wars....It’s a reminder. It aims to let the following generations know the results of wars” – David Mason, LIFE Project Manager “You must need something to generate energy. It’s all about balance....Finding a balance between nature and human” – Richard Gilbert, Senior Ranger, Dunwich Heath
(2) Campaign #SingForSea – Live sea-inspired music performances in big stations across London to encourage commuters to visit the seaside in the care of the Neptune Coastline Campaign. I held a prototype music performance in London King’s Cross Station on 6th December in 2013. During that event, the collaborative musician Emily R. Hale played her “Winter Sea Songs” and I gave out “Tickets for Tomorrow”. It was on Friday evening and we aimed to encourage commuters to visit the seaside for their weekend off.
The Tickets for Tomorrow features a map and a real train timetable for the weekend from central London to the seaside, such as Brownsea Island. It aims to lower the barriers in the way of visiting the seaside.
The details of the campaign are shown in the animation, which was developed on the real prototype music performance and interviewees’ feedbacks during my design and research procress. I especially appreciate the architect Kit and the musician Emily. It’s based on their true story. Animatior: Irene Yen-Hsuan Shih Animation on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/81624940
This is the campaign #SingForSea – using nature and music as a remedy, the campaign encouraged London commuters to visit the coast.
After the performance, he got a ticket, “Ticket for Tomorrow”. It shows info about #SingForSea, and the live project “British Soundscape” – the sea sounds were collected at Brownsea Island, one of the National Trust properties located in Poole Harbour.
These sounds are an open source and all the musicians can download and use them. “British Soundscape” aims to invite people from London, like commuters or musicians, to celebrate the coast with the National Trust.
08. Let’s go to Brownsea Island! Kevin met the staff and rangers on the island and had a wonderful experience there.
Kevin really liked the meaningful project “British Soundscape”. So he shared it online and kept following it until autumn.
After the 3-month campaign #SingForSea, collaborative musicians will hold a big performance in National Trust London properties, such as Ham House or Red House in the autumn. 32
This is Kevin, an architect who commutes to central London everyday. One Friday evening, he found something different in King’s Cross Station.
There was a live music performance! He heard a beautiful violin and sea sound.
And it’s not so far from London. There are regular trains departing from King’s Cross Station to the seaside. It really encourages him to go to the seaside.
Before his weekend off, he browsed the website, “British Soundscape”. It has a rich collection of natural sounds, to present the National Trust’s achievement of coastal conservation.
And he found another feature of the website. There are live messages from National Trust rangers on the website, which educate the public about coastal conservation.
We can also look after special places, for ever, for everyone.
In the end of the year, all the songs and music would be collected for an upcoming album, “British Soundscape” for the celebration of the 120th anniversary of the National Trust in 2015.
We are inviting you to celebrate the coast with National Trust. Make cities sing for sea!
(3) Album “British Soundscape” – A sea-inspired music collection for the Neptune Coastline Campaign’s 50th anniversary in 2015, to present a symphony for humans and nature.
After the above website and its campaigns, all the songs and music would be collected for a music collection album, â€œBritish Soundscapeâ€?, that will be released in 2015, as part of the anniversary celebration activities. The album will highlight the contributions of collaborative musicians and the coastal properties. With a map showing all the coastal properties inside the packaging, it has the function of encouraging people to visit the seaside. The album can be produced at a low cost and would be sold in National Trust London houses and coastal properties to generate income.
This is the music video performed by Emily R. Hale as a prototype of the album. The sea sounds and scenery were recorded at Brownsea Island in December 2013.
1. Music video on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/81520000
2.. Filming and recording sea sounds on the boat 3.. Filming and recording sea sounds at Brownsea Island
This music video is in collaboration with: Film Director | Cinematographer | Yuen Hsieh Baroque Violin | MPerf, Historical Performance | Emily R. Hale Project Director | Design Director | Irene Yen-Hsuan Shih Visual Designer | Photographer | Erco Laii
3.3. Design Evaluation Royal College of Art Work-in-Progress Show This project, British Soundscape, was exhibited at the Royal College of Art from the 5th to the 9th of February in 2014. I took it as a great chance to try out the idea with a broader audience through curating and engagement. The approach I took in the exhibition correlates with the theme of sea, â€œmessage in a bottleâ€?
The response to my show was much better than I had expected. So many visitors shared with me their love and their memories of the sea. Among my visitors were students, young parents with babies, grandparents, musicians and journalists – people from all ages and different industries. The thing in common among all of them was that this project recalled their love for nature, and made them feel very relaxing and warm. “This is a very meaningful project. I’m a musician myself and I love the sea. And it’s a wonderful idea to bring the two together! ” “Make me feel home. The best memory is the time I came back home by ferry and my heart full of joy. (I come from an Island: Sardinia)” That is my very simple starting point for British Soundscape – Nature and music as remedy. I’m glad that I fulfilled my initial brief.
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything” – Plato The feedback I’ve received from this project and the exhibition helped me to have more opportunities to investigate sea-inspired music performance in different areas across the UK, such as Wales, and more London-based musicians are interested in collaboration with British Soundscape. In the future, I will continuously run the project British Soundscape, and it is open to all types of natural sounds: birdsong, wind sounds, sounds of the River Thames, sounds in the forest – all are new possibilities to be explored. It has the potential to run as a platform to collaborate with existing National Trust campaigns and events like the Great British Walk across the UK, or regional events such as the Soundwalk at Rhossili, on the Gower peninsula.10 The simple aim of my project British Soundscape is just to remind people of the beauty of nature. Nature is always the best teacher for generations, and we, as the young generation, also have a responsibility for nature. We can also look after special places, for ever, for everyone. That is exactly what I’ve learnt through my research and design process. I sincerely appreciate all the people who have helped and supported me to develop this project, and I hope that all of you will find a beautiful summer by the sea, this year.
British Soundscape http://britishsoundscape.com Project Director | Design Director | Irene Yen-Hsuan Shih Service Design | Royal College of Art email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org In collaboration with: Baroque Violin | MPerf, Historical Performance | Emily R. Hale Film Director | Cinematographer | Yuen Hsieh Visual Designer | Photographer | Erco Laii