Composing Soundscapes for Social Integration: Psychogeography of Bhutanese refugee elders in Worcester, Massachusetts
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CitationYamashita, Ayaka. 2021. Composing Soundscapes for Social Integration: Psychogeography of Bhutanese refugee elders in Worcester, Massachusetts. Master's thesis, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
AbstractSound can transcend the boundaries of time and space. This thesis leverages the potential of sound to capture a sense of place and reinterpret space by transplanting it to new environments. Working with the Bhutanese refugees of Worcester, MA, this thesis explores how soundscapes of home can be used to address the social isolation of refugees in resettlement communities. Even within progressive communities, host residents can be indifferent to refugees even though they share the same space. By facilitating social integration and community well-being, this work seeks to move places from multicultural to intercultural societies where social interactions among people from different backgrounds move beyond mere coexistence. Interviews and observations are compiled to gain insights into how refugee elders navigate the resettlement environment. Soundscape compositions that demonstrate their psychogeographical understanding of resettlement experiences are produced based on the sounds collected from places elders spend most of their time, such as living rooms, kitchens, gardens, and craft spaces. By introducing the composition and a notation in new environments, boundaries between refugees and non-refugees physically and mentally are blurred, culminating with the proposed design intervention.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367879