Route scouting in Harlem

April 26, 2019 Thesis

Wednesday, I was finally able to make it out to Harlem to do some scouting for my sound walk for thesis. While I roughly knew which stories I wanted to include, I didn’t have a firm idea of how to integrate the overall narrative with locations. I knew that I wanted to set the walk in a place that had a majority Black population, with the hopes of making the user feel immersed in the narrative they were hearing.

After sorting through the recordings, I settled on three clips, plus one of my own to form a loose narrative. Once that was done, I was able to find two locations that tied in to stories, allowing me to anchor the sound walk in the area around the Schomburg Center. Starting at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, which is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences, seemed an appropriate place to begin a Field Guide to the Black Experience.

The two stops which anchor the sound walk, are a basketball court (the first stop), and Mother AME Zion Church.

The route is approximately 0.59 miles, and begins and ends at the Schomburg Center. While the entire soudwalk isn’t directly tied to locations, I felt that having the first, and next to last locations anchor the walk, both grounded, and allowed the user some freedom in their exploration.

The Schomburg Center in Harlem
The Schomburg Center, where the walk begins, and ends
city basketball court
The first stop on the sound walk
Mother AME Zion Church Sign
Mother AME Zion Church. The second stop before heading back to Schomburg

Mother AME Zion Church Sign
Sound walk route mapped
Route mapped out using the Nike Run Application

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