Soundmappng Exhibition


2 days of pop up exhibition

Collaborative mapping and a series of installations created by for Cities and Cluster Cairo

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3 workshops

In addition to the pop-up exhibition, three workshops (9 sessions in total) were held in a period of one-week


in Cairo

This event was held in Ard-El-Lewa neighborhood, Cairo, in collaboration with Alfabrica and CLUSTER


What could we learn about our cities through observing their sounds? How does the sonic environment affect the way we live? How can we actively design a sonic environment in cities for a better quality of life for citizens?

Cities are filled with various sounds and rhythms - railroad crossings, the sound of swaying leaves, the rhythm of people passing by. Rhythms and sounds appear and disappear depending on space and time. With the sound and musical environment that surround us, our bodies, including visual information, physical sensations, and the state of our bodies and minds, act as a metronome, guiding us to the cycles and patterns of a city. Given that the current design of cities and architecture are heavily over-dependent on function and our sense of sight, reviving an appreciation of the neglected senses, such as sounds, might give us important insights into how we see the past and future of cities.

This pop-up exhibition invited people to explore the sounds and rhythms of the city, building on an interest in links between audio sensory data, cities, and architecture. During the exhibition, we showcase a collective map to visualize various sonic aspects of the Ard al-Liwa neighborhood, as well as installations made byfor CitiesandCLUSTER, exploring sonic imaginations and observations.

Exhibited work


The map of Ard al-Liwa neighborhood was created using a CNC machine in Alfabrika. It is a collective map where everyone is invited to take part in adding layers to show their own interpretation of various sonic aspects of the neighborhood. Photo Gallery

Sound Donation

ā€‹ā€‹The result of the Soundmark workshops orgainized during the show was presented as a series of music albums based on different time of the day, which is an archive of the prototypes made by participants, showing how to design interventions that reflect not only on the physical tissue of the city but also on sensory experiences such as sounds. The album covers were designed by Seba Abouyoussef who, besides being one of the workshop participants, is a constantly learning and observing architect/visual artist. Photo Gallery

Dreaming in Ard El Lewa

By Ali Kaliuby

ā€‹ā€‹Sounds of kids, roosters singing. The sounds of traffic and car horns. Sounds from woodworking studios. Sounds of ā€œRobabecciahā€™ā€™ to collect recycled goods. Giza-based music producer Ali Kaliuby composed a piece of music using some of the iconic sounds of Ard al-Liwa, which were collected through the workshops initiated by for Cities. Aliā€™s work always tries to embed deep emotions in his music using combinations of sound. Listen the music from here .

Urbanist Kit / Audible Cities

The Urbanist Kit is an educational tool created to allow people to learn and acquire the skills necessary to become an urbanist of the next generation. This kit is packed with various mini exercises to explore the sounds of the city, building on interests relating to music, cities, and architecture, and co-imagining what our cities could be through an alternative soundscape. Each exercise is self-contained, so you donā€™t have to follow the order. Customize it to fit your own needs.

Sound Observations

A series of posters, photo journals, research findings by CLUSTER team. The featured works include ā€œSound Memories of the ā€˜Goodā€™ Sahelā€ by Salma Elbasty, ā€œSummer Soundsā€ by Reem Ayman, ā€œCairo, ā€˜the City that Never Sleepsā€™ā€ by Alia Abdelghaffar, ā€œWalking Home Stressā€ by Youssra Zakaria, and ā€œIf Cities Could Speakā€ by Khaled Ragab, Objects in Mirror are Closer than they Appear by Amin El-didi

Live performance

Mostafa Khalil

A live session run by a musician and architect Mostafa Khalil that mixes the soundmarks collected through the workshops, inviting participants to join and encourage feedbacks.

Imagination of places

by Musa Omusi

Musa is the founder and principal artist of the Made with Love studio in Nairobi, Kenya. For this exhibition, Musa created an artwork inspired by the theme of Afro-futurism and the expanding city of Cairo.

Workshops & Activities
Hover to see details! ā†“

Urbanist School / Spatial Sound of Cairo

for Cities and GIS friends present a 5 DAYS workshop ā€œSpatial Sound of Cairoā€ to learn the basics of GIS and the use of spatial data in the context of sensory urbanism. Our mission is to analyze, visualize and communicate through sound data of the city by understanding spatial data information. More info , and photo gallery .

Soundmarks Workshop

Every community has landmarks ā€” and the same goes for soundmarks, which make the place unique and give it character. In a series of workshops initiated by CLUSTER and for Cities, the team has focused on collecting soundmarks in the Ard al-Liwa neighborhood, as well as designing alternative soundscapes based on existing sounds. Using an original list of various sounds from around the world called a ā€œSound Menu,ā€ the participants collectively made interventions in the existing soundscape by mixing and altering sounds. Photo Gallery

How Kids See a City

Children have their own imagination and perception to navigate their cities that go beyond our adult understanding. We have done a workshop inviting 10 kids between ages 12 to 15 from the neighborhood and asked them to take us to their favorite places (and not-so-favorite places). The kids then got a chance to analyze the sound components that exist in these places, and to make subjective sketches to visualize it by using colors and shapes. Photo Gallery


At the end of the pop up exhibition we held a series of presentation by CLUSTER and for Cities.

Collaborator & Venue


Cairo Laboratory for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research

Alfabrica / Al Del Lowa

Alfabrica is a fabrication lab with equipment both digital such as a 3D printer, laser cutter, and a CNC router, and manual workshop tools.

GIS friends

Gisfriends is a consortium of geo-analysts and researchers based in Moscow, Russia, with extensive experience in urban studies and city planning.

Ebrahim Bahaa-Eldin

Ebrahim Bahaa-Eldin is a multi-disciplinary artist and a self-taught photographer currently based in Cairo. You can see his wonderful photos of the week in here .

General info šŸ“

Pop Up Exhibition

2022 / 7 / 29ļ¼ˆFri), 7 / 30ļ¼ˆSatļ¼‰12:00 - 19:00 @ AL-GAMALON (ALFABRIKA)


2022 / 7 / 25 (Mon) ~ 30 (Thu)


for Cities

for Cities is an urban experience design studio based in Japan, as well as an international collective of urban practitioners and thinkers working in Asia and beyond. The mission is to celebrate the uniqueness of cities and to build an international collective of emerging urbanists who act together to intervene in the existing paradigms.



Cairo Laboratory for Urban Studies, Training and Environmental Research aims at establishing a critical space for urban discourse. CLUSTER engages critical theorization while being grounded in professional practice, negotiating the blurred boundaries between formal/institutional regulations and everyday urban informality.


Selected Ideas