The objective of this winter school is to propose, over a week, a program both theoretical & practical on listening, research and design of the sound environment. In 2019, CRESSON, research team of “Ambiances, Architectures, Urbanities” laboratory, will celebrate its fourty years of existence. This is the opportunity, to return to the elements that founded this team and which, today, continue to feed researches on sonic ambiances.

“Hark! Cresson is 40” or “pay attention, listen carefully, Cresson is 40” is the tonality we want to give this year for the winter school program. We will return to the founding notions of the team and show how they

have helped researchers to update ways of thinking, designing and building the living environment.

The winter school program alternates a series of conference-meetings with field work. This allows the participants to consolidate their theoretical knowledge by improving their own field practice: The methodological apparatus of the CRESSON will then be mobilized by the participants (work in small groups) with the objective to produce and show of a final production at the end of the week.


1 – Theorical & methodological lectures



by Anthony Pecqueux + N. Tixier

This conference aims at measuring some of the CRESSON studies against, on the one hand, theories of attention and, on the other hand, a pragmatist approach on social life.

Many of us complain about the noise we endure in our everyday life, especially in town: noise from our neighbours, traffic, construction sites, subway, etc. Whether it is at home, underground or on the surface, we are constantly enveloped – even harassed – by sounds, which we more or less easily get used to, since it is very difficult to literally close our ears to them. Therefore, and at least since the first industrial revolution, in cities and more specifically in metropoles, we have witnessed a multiplication of sound sources. It goes hand in hand with the lowering of the sound tolerance threshold, which can be measured quantitatively and qualitatively with regular surveys on these questions, on their place on the political agenda against urban noise, the recent addition (2003) of a “crime of sound aggression” in the French Penal Code, etc.

A first approach of sonic effect

by Jean-François Augoyard + juL McOisans

The urban sound environment can be the object of two operations: either the description, or the intervention. To do it, there is not lack of analog or digital quantitative tools. Nevertheless, the metrology is not always effective in situ; Thereby, the open spaces and the small closed spaces are today measurable neither in the whole of their components, nor with all the desirable sharpness. Moreover, in situ the human dimension of the acoustic phenomena escapes partially the quantitative evaluation.

Two questions thus are to be put.

1-Are there qualitative tools specifically adapted to the analysis of the sound environment and what is their operational value?

2-Can we define qualitative tools which are usable complementarily to the quantitative tools?

Two fundamental notions were invented during the last century: the sound object (Pierre Schaeffer) and the soundscape (R.Murray Schafer). Precious in pedagogy or for the very fine analysis of a precise sound phenomenon, the first is of a too heavy use at the scale of an architectural or urban complex. The second, also fundamental to reveal the compositional and landscaped dimensions of the

sound, leans on an attractive but too discriminatory esthetics for a trivial approach of the daily situations.

Between these two approaches was needed a tool allowing to work on the intermediate level, the level of

concrete configurations between three components of any sound situation: acoustic sources, constructed space and sound perception.

This tool is the sonic effect which the interdisciplinary properties, the perfectibility, and the capacity to cross the analysis and the action upon the environment, were widely experienced and confirmed in our laboratory (Cresson) since the 80s.

This lecture will lean on sequences of listening and collection of reactions.


Environment, milieu, soundscape (re)definitions

by Pascal Amphoux + Théa Manola

Three manners to activate our listening of the city in ordinary situation of co-presence or walk­ will be expressed : The environmental listening, the médiale listening and the landscaped listening.

The technique of the reactivated listening will briefly be recited: meaning sample, principle of recurrence, domains of relevance (passage of the analysis to the project).

The tower of the sound effects and the sound quality of the courtyard


«How does South sounds?»
edition 2019 from Süden Radio
(contests results)

by Radio Papesse

In collaboration with Pratiques d’Hospitalité – Plateforme de Recherche Critique et d’Imagination Politique – curated by Katia Schneller and Simone Frangi at the École Supérieure d’Art et Design Grenoble-Valence – and CRESSON, Radio Papesse has launched Süden Radio #3 Call for Soundworks.

Radio Papesse wishes to investigate – through listening – the different strategies of place making that emerge from the tension between mobility and confinement. It invites artists, field recordists, musicians and radio producersto reflect on the hospitality of urban spaces in the face of the shifting and drifting reconfiguration of the many Souths. The following have been Radio Papesse’s three guiding themes: POROSITY, DISSONANCE and IMAGINATION.


Back to Villeneuve –
Introduction to field work

by Mailys Toussaint & Théo Marchal

The Villeneuve of Grenoble was created as a new center of Grenoble during the 70’s by a pluridisciplinary agency of urbanism and architecture named AUA (Atelier d’urbanisme et d’architecture). This urban project, significantly conceived as a social and physical utopia, have producted an atypique and complex neighbourhood, with its qualities and issues. Today concerned by a massive rehabilitation program, this neighbourhood and its inhabitants daily life are changing.


Building sound spaces

by Grégoire Chelkoff + Eléonore Bak

Designing and building space and objects with sound is a stimulating horizon and presents challenges at multiple levels for creative dynamics. These issues are not always understood in the current context and still seem to be highly marginalized. Experiences and attempts to go beyond the stage of a discourse on sounds to create with sounds nevertheless remain a field of action that questions the field of ambiances more globally. Several avenues will be explored through exploratory approaches in this field: architectural sound prototypes, sound planning, sound design, sound objects, creative methods by Grégoire Chelkoff (Ensag /cresson) and Eléonore Bak (Ecole supérieure d’art de Lorraine), involving the physical, sensitive and social dimensions.


Exploring sound in design:
from the use to the tool

by Théo Marchal + Hengameh Pirhosseinloo

The consideration of sound in the spatial design is a strong ambition of CRESSON since its beginnings. In particular, there are large brakes related to a «complex» presumption of acoustics for space designers.

As new digital design and evaluation tools emerge in the space designer’s environment, this is about understanding how they redefine project modes and methods to serve the sensitive quality of space. More specifically we will present how they can allow the sound to be considered in the project by presenting a tool to “listen” directly in a 3D model.

We will also look at tools previously developed within the team that can help the design of sound in space and how they inform us to develop a sound sketch tool.


Listening to Ambiances

by Jean-Paul Thibaud + Laure Brayer

This presentation intends to explore urban ambiances through focusing on the world of sounds.

What can be learned about an ambiance when we just listen to it? How and under which conditions is it possible to develop a sonic paradigm of urban ambiances?

The basic argument is to consider sound as a particularly efficient medium to investigate and develop an account of urban ambiances.

Various ideas will be explored in order to answer this question, involving theoretical, epistemological and methodological arguments. Three main directions are accentuated: the first one relates to the tuning into an ambiance, the second relates to the unfolding of an ambiance, and the third relates to the situating within an ambiance.


Sounds and their representations

by Sylvie Laroche + Laure Brayer

Four years after the winter school on “« The representations of the sonic urban environment” », this intervention will be the opportunity to review the evolution of the question through examples of recent research and teaching works.

First of all, it is on the basis of ongoing research on the urban boundaries of the Greater Geneva that the modes of representation of sound perceived, captured and measured sound will be presented. In order to characterise the fields of study from a physical (physical approach to acoustics) and sensitive (sensitive approach to sound environments) point of view, different forms of representation of the sonic dimension are tested (sketch, text, diagram).

In a second time, by taking up to resume the thematic of the boundary, we will make three proposals to address the question of the representation of sound:

– Tracking the sound at the edge of the media: what can we hear from an urban atmosphere at the intersection of a text, a video and three labeled photographs?

– Llistening to the sound at the margins of the image: in the film representation, what is the place of sound in the dialogue it creates with the image?

– Playing to talk about the representations of sound: what (playful) devices to put in place to be able to exchange around on the sound experience of a familiar environment and the representations one has of it.


«Déjeuner Cresson»:
Sensotra project

by Heikki Uimonen

Sensory Transformations and Transgenerational Environmental Relationships in Europe, 1950-2020 (SENSOTRA) is a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant funded five-year-long-project led by professor Helmi Järviluoma. The project aims at producing new understandings of the changes in people’s sensory environmental relationships in three European cities during a particular period in history, 1950–2020, through a new transgenerational methodology, ethnographic «sensobioraphy».

The findings will challenge existing ideas about shared experiences across generations, about how people share sensory experiences and about the use of digital technologies in urban space. The interdisciplinary impact extends beyond cultural, sound, and music studies to areas of psychology, human geography, environmental aesthetics, and media history and theory. At present we are still able to study people ethnographically who were born in the 1930s and 1940s, who therefore lived their early years without digital technologies. The moment is also ideally suited for studying generations born straight into the digital world, where there is a need to enable young and older people to maintain a many-faceted relationship with their environments.



«From Soundscape to sound studies – and ambiances?»

with Meri Kytö + Anthony Pecqueux + Jean-Paul Thibaud + Heikki Uimonen


Public Conference:
Transforming Soundscapes in Finland

by Meri Kytö + Heikki Uimonen

Muuttuvat suomalaiset äänimaisemat (“Transforming Finnish Soundscapes”, eds Heikki Uimonen, Meri Kytö & Kaisa Ruohonen) is a research project and a book: a collection of research essays and texts that study the sonic environment and how it is experienced.

This lecture presents the multidisciplinary soundscapes studies of the book. Soundscapes related to time, place and the everyday shape our perception of the present and the past. Sounds can be pleasant and beautiful, pacing the day or year, annoying, boring and everything in between.

The theme of transforming soundscapes combines the research essays in the publication. The essays draw from various disciplines and methodologies: media studies, anthropological field work and sensory observation, textual analysis and close reading, folkloristics, archeoacoustics and music studies. In turn, the texts gathered via a writing competition show how sounds can be listened to both analytically and aesthetically, connecting them to local, national and transnational cultures and histories pondering what sounds mean to the listeners and how they influence the soundscape they live in.

The lecture also presents the forthcoming four-year project ACMESOCS – Auditory Culture, Mediated Sounds and Constructed Spaces and its challenges in researching music in historical and mediated urban environments.


2 – The Team

• Françoise Acquier studied urban planing & geography before joining Cresson as a documentalist in 2001. She is in charge of the management of the specialized collection of documents and its promotion, the archiving of the publications. Together with juL McOisans they work on the valorization of sonic environment archives of the labo in the library’s catalogue, the soundmap and the european library Europeana Sound.

• Pascal Amphoux is an architect, geographer, professor at l’ENSANantes, researcher at Cresson (ENSAGrenoble) and director of Contrepoint Projets urbains (Lausanne), member of the scientific council Europan Europe, of the FMAC (Fonds Municipal d’Art Contemporain, Genève) commission and expert with other diverse Swiss and French institutions.

• Jean-François Augoyard is a philosopher, a town planner and a musicologist. Honorary research director at CNRS (NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH). Founder of the Research center on the sound Space (Cresson) in 1980, he was a co-founder, in 1992, of the laboratory of architectural and urban Atmospheres (CNRS-MCC) and of a doctoral formation on the same theme. His first works concerned the manners to walk, the manners to live, and the social behaviours in town. He then developed interdisciplinary notions and methods of analysis in situ of the sensitive, in particular sound environment.

Finally, he led several researches on the ordinary esthetic perception and on the urban artistic actions for the Ministry of Culture. He works now on a theory of the architectural and urban atmospheres

• Eléonore Bak is an artist, professor for sound in ESAL, Ecole supérieure d’art de Lorraine High school for fine arts in Metz, where she teaches: sound as an autonomous plastically material; sound spatializations (7.1 and wave-field-synthesis); critical design ; promenadology; visual representations/simulations of sensory phenomenons. She is also an associated researcher at CRESSON, where she developed her PhD Thesis RESIDE IN THE UN-VIEWEN, KINDS OF SOUND VISUALIZATIONS and where she carries on with her scientific works on ambiances as « gestural reservoirs ».

• Laure Brayer, architect, is ATER at UGA (IUGA-PhITEM) and researcher at CRESSON research lab, where she developed her PhD Thesis on the operational scope of filmic approach in the understanding and conception of urban spaces (Dispositifs filmiques et paysage urbain, Grenoble, UGA, 2014). Her researches concern the material and immaterial shapes of urban situations, their experiences, representations and transformations.

• Grégoire Chelkoff is an Architect, Professor at the ENSAG, who participated in the creation of the CRESSON in 1979 and in research on sonic effects and public spacesfrom 1980 to 1992.

He was the Director of CRESSON for eight years and, he devoted himself to the principle of crossing physical, sensitive and social dimensions through approaches to space and architecture at the scale of the moving body.

He defended his PhD in urban planning (“Urbanité des sens”, 1996) and his ability to lead research (“De l’espace à l’ambiance”, 2005).

Making the notion of ambiance and the sensitive body a central vector of work in the situated approach of contemporary environments, he proposes the study of the relationships between constructed forms, sensitive formants and formalities of social practices.

Author of some twenty research reports on the auditory and sensitive dimension, in the public space, as in the inhabited space (housing, gardens, roadsides), he initiated the implementation of research through experimentation at the scale of the moving body (‘architectural sound prototypes’, 2003, cognitive program 2000).

He is the founder and scientific manager of the sound data website

• Meri Kytö is researcher in music studies at the University of Tampere, and adjunct professor in sound studies at the University of Eastern Finland. Her expertise is in studying the urban sonic environment, sensory ethnography and technology relations. Her previous publications have tackled sonic domestication, articulations of acoustic privacy, soundscapes of political protest, busking, football fans and public libraries. Currently she’s writing on cochlear implants and sensory agency. She has edited five publications on soundscape research, and been a visiting researcher at Goldsmith’s College, London (2012) and the University of Copenhagen (2017). Currently she is the chair of Finnish Society for Acoustic Ecology, also curating the society’s online soundscape archive, the vice-chair for the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology.

• Sylvie Laroche is a professional architect (orientation research). She holds a doctorate in architecture and is a lecturer for the CNU Section 24 (spatial planning) and 23 (geography). She is currently undertaking a post doctorate at the Scientific and Technical Centre for Building, and is an associated researcher at the Centre for research on sound space and urban environment, UMR CNRS 1963 “Ambiances Architectures Urbanités”. She regularly teaches at the Graduate Schools of Architecture (of Grenoble and Nantes). Her research themes are centered on the sensory dimensions of the city, to question the transformations of urban spaces. This approach relies on original pluri-disciplinary methods, at the crossroads between architecture, social sciences and engineering.

• Théa Manola is an architect DPLG, urban planner, and Phd in urban studies. Lecturer on Social and Human Sciences for Architecture, at the Grenoble’s school of architecture and researcher at the team CRESSON of the Laboratory AAU, her scientific work focuses on ordinary sensitive experiences, (multisensory) landscape, and socio-environmental and participatory issues and their consideration in the urban fabric. She teaches in the bachelor’s degree of architecture (Urban Sociology; Participation in architecture and urban design, Environmental Issues; Sociological inputs for architecture workshop) and in Master’s degree of architecture and of urban design (Theories and methodologies of urban ambiances; Participation and urban design ; Research initiation ; Urban design workshop)

• Théo Marchal is a PHD student at CRESSON. Architect and assistant professor at ENSA Grenoble in the framework of various courses such as the architecture project, theoretical lessons associated with the project and supervision of tutorials, workshops and intensive courses about digital tools and mastery of the ambiances.

After having participated for two years in the research ADEME «Esquis’Sons! «, His specialization as well as his interest in digital tools related to the design of space drive his research object on the question of tools, and more particularly the link they have with design of architectures and environments.

His PHD work then focuses on these issues for « sensitive atmospheres » and the development of a sound assessment and sound design tool.

• juL McOisans, after studies in musicology & professional experiences in graphic design and IT , integrated Cresson laboratory (1993) in charge of the publications and of the valuation of the research.

The specificity of this one, focusing on the sound environment, brought him to lead diverse experiments on the whole audio process : from the in situ recording, to the processing (analog then digital) and the distribution & broadcasting (supports, media, installations…).

In 2003, he launched the first operations of collectage, archiving, digitalization and systematic publication of the sound recordings made in the lab since its origin

(program cress o u n d), to allow their wide broadcasting under varied forms: audioCD, database, internet streaming, cartophonies…

Anthony Pecqueux, sociologist, is CNRS Researcher at CRESSON research lab. His field of research covers the ethnography of sound, of ordinary perception in urban environment, of musical experiences. He is currently working on urban participation.

Hengameh Pirhosseinloo is an architecte DPLG, PhD student in Cresson. she is working on aInhabited interface (Balcony- loggia – terrace-corridor) , their spatial evolution and their sensitive interaction on the facade of housing in the new neighborhood called Ecoquartiers.

Radio Papesse is an online audio archive devoted to contemporary art; it is a place for the documentation and the articulation of a critical discourse around the visual arts and at the same time it is a radio platform dedicated to sound art, experimental sound and radiophonic productions and distribution. It has embraced radio not only as a medium but also as a language to communicate art making and art practices today. Since 2006 Radio Papesse has produced and commissioned new soundworks, challenging producers and DJs to rethink the rules of traditional audio storytelling. Radio Papesse is run by Carola Haupt and Ilaria Gadenz.

Jean-Paul Thibaud, sociologist, is CNRS Senior Researcher at CRESSON research lab. His field of research covers the theory of urban ambiances, ordinary perception in urban environment, anthropology of sound, sensory culture and ethnography of public places, in situ qualitative methodology. He has founded the International Ambiances Network ( His last book is entitled En quête d’ambiances. Eprouver la ville en passant (Geneva: MétisPresses, 2015).

Nicolas Tixier is an architect, DR and HDR. He is a professor of theory and design at the National School of Architecture of Grenoble and also teaches at Annecy School of Fine Art and the Grenoble Institute of Urbanism. He is a researcher at the CRESSON Laboratory (UMR Ambiances, Architectures, Urbanités) and a member of the International Ambiances Network. He is a founding member of the BazarUrbain collective. From 2003 to 2010 he was responsible for scientific missions at the Bureau of Architectural, Urban and Landscape Research at the French Ministry of Culture and Communication. Since 2009, he has been president of the Grenoble Cinematheque. His current work focuses on the urban transect as an in situ practice, a mode of representation and a project « posture ».

• Maïlys Toussaint  is an urbanist and PhD student in UMR AAU-CRESSON at the School of Architecture Univ. Grenoble Alpes. Her research aim to understand the habituation process to ambiances of the inhabitant during the urban transformation of the Villeneuve of Grenoble.


The site of Villeneuve, where the National School of Architecture of Grenoble and the CRESSON are located, will be the field of experimentation of the participants. This district is an undeniable memory of the team and its early works. Since the last years, it has been the subject of a major urban renewal project that modifies and will also modify its soundscape. It is a perfect field work to combine memory and prospective.

Date: 28 january – 01february 2019

General chair: Théa Manola, Théo Marchal, Nicolas Rémy



3 – Travaux des ateliers

Parcours sensible à l’aveugle

By alice Aurat, Chloé Gérard, Arnaud Leroy


From market…

…To market

by Aurore Balsa, Maud Baccara, Magali Chetail-Baillon, emmanuelle Cheyns


Losonnante (version compilée)

by Paul Bai, Cyrille Lauwerier, Sébastien De pertat



by Andréa Poiret, claudia Martinho, sophie Gleeson, Maité Echaider, Marine Pesme


Hark !

by Amalia Jaulin


ANSU (agence nationale de schizophonisation urbaine) – video

by Victor babin, Fatma Mrad, Alexia Camus, Anwar hamrouni, Nicolas Münch, Antoine Roland


4 – a few pictures

which show a part of the ambiance of the week…