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  • Teaching Fellow
  • The Bartlett School of Architecture
  • Faculty of the Built Environment
Emma-Kate is an architect, artist, musician and composer. In 2012 she founded EKM Works; a creative practice which promotes cross-disciplinary design with a focus on exploring the boundaries of innovative technologies.

Emma-Kate teaches a Masters design unit at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL where she is also undertaking a design and performance-led PhD, part-funded by the Bartlett staff award bursary. Her research concerns spatio-temporal interdependence between architecture and performed music.

In 2015, she released two solo albums of experimental music featuring both electronic and acoustic instruments. She is currently a London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub Associate and is writing a number of site-specific compositions which are directly influenced by the outputs of digital acoustic simulation and 3D scanning. Throughout 2017, Emma-Kate has been composer in residence with the London graduate orchestra. In September 2017, the orchestra performed her site-specific, spatialised piece “Device 001” at St Leonard’s church in Shoreditch. This venue also recently hosted the “Edge to Edge” festival - a celebration of experimental works which celebrate sound, space and movement, organised by and featuring performances of compositions by Emma-Kate. She has also previously performed at the Barbican concert hall and has exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts and the RIBA. Her work has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals including Architectural Design (Wiley) and Design Ecologies (Intellect books).

In December 2017, Emma-Kate will perform and exhibit at the “Space Making Time” event at the Royal Academy of Arts, which she is also organising.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Emma-Kate's research investigates spatio-temporal reciprocities between architectural space and performed music. As an architect and musician, she is interested in the simultaneous capacities of architecture to influence the composition and experience of performed music - and of performed music to influence the composition and experience of architectural space. Her previous MArch project proposed a series of spaces which behave as instruments and replicate the immersive acoustic character of Venice during the Aqua Alta. Emma-Kate's compositions appropriate spaces as musical instruments, by responding to the acoustic qualities of these spaces. When performed, her pieces exploit acoustical phenomena such as reverberance and sympathetic resonance to articulate musical motifs. For example, by using excessive reverberance to construct a harmonic sequence, or by suggesting a rhythm from an echo. When we consider performance spaces to be as acoustically active as the instruments which they contain, ideas surrounding the composition of space and music start to become more pliable. Emma-Kate's research promotes a multidisciplinary method of practice which sits within the seams of architecture and music. The resultant work acts as an elastic mediator between the construction of spatial and sonic realms.

Teaching Summary

Since September 2015, Emma-Kate has taught architectural design to first-year students at the Bartlett. She is also running a Masters in Architecture design unit with teaching partner Nat Chard (unit 25).

"The core of our unit involves helping each student develop their own experimental practices, both in their approach to design and in the media through which they think and work. In our experience an experimental approach fosters rich design potential while also providing a productive educational method. We value the way that working experimentally through materials and processes can open up possibilities that might elude us when working with more conventional design methods. We encourage speculative risk and not knowing where the idea will end. To operate like this we look for rigour when nurturing the relationship between idea and technique, looking for ways in which each student might develop or invent their own media and be in control of it on their own terms. We are much more interested in the literal and figurative manifestation of the idea than in the diagram." - Nat Chard & Emma-Kate Matthews 2017

25-SEP-2017 MPhil /PhD Candidate The Bartlett School of Architecture University College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2013 Prof. Prac Professional Practice – Architecture London Metropolitan University
2011 Dip. Diploma – Architecture University College London
2011 MArch Master of Architecture – Architecture University College London
2008 B.Arch Bachelor of Architecture – Architecture University of Nottingham
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