The Music Co-Op: Improving the Modern Day Independent Music Scene Through Design Open Access
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For over a century music clubs have presented entertainment, social networking and community in environments that have spanned numerous genres and movements. These venues are of paramount importance to music appreciators and artists from all genres and cultures. For those who favor "indie" culture and music, however, the range of present-day offerings is limited to spaces that are unfriendly both to performers and audiences.The current standard music venues often emulate the grimy, dark, and poorly planned punk rock clubs of the 1970s, offering poor sound quality and aesthetics. These spaces are hostile, foster an environment of anonymity and fail to blend music appreciators as a cohesive group, due to the vast, disorganized spaces often paired with grimy, defaced interiors. There needs to be a different type of music venue that will encourage positive social behaviors, intimacy and openness to all, while also recognizing the exclusive and fanatical nature of music appreciators and "indie" culture. Therefore, this project will contribute a direction of design away from loud, open, basement-like spaces towards high-end designs suited to varying levels of listening, leisure and conversation, which this project will examine.The proposed solution is an intimate, fun space that references both the indie consumer's penchant for vintage fashions and childhood nostalgia, along with a user-friendly environment for artists to collaborate and record. This formula will be paired with the concept of a "Music Co-Op" run by members who pay dues. These members will make decisions about cultivating music programs and shows to introduce new artists and movements to audiences of both current members and their guests. Ultimately, however, it should be the interior and social atmosphere of the club that will ensure quality and enjoyment for patrons and performers. Through investigating precedents, acoustic building materials and multi-use space planning, and researching the needs and direction of independent musicians and fans, I hope to create a space that is intimate, inviting and a pleasure to view and perform in.