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BUILDING THE SOUNDSCAPE IN THE AGE OF VISUAL DISTRACTION Jack Solomon BArch Candidate

Robert Svetz Primary Advisor

Ramona Albert Secondary Advisor

Syracuse University School of Architecture Fall 2011


CONTENT 05 06 07

INTRODUCTION A Parodic Lesson Statement

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CONCEPT/THEORY

10 I 12 22 26

Aural-Visual Solidarity Influence of Sound in Architectural History Towards A New Hierarchy Design Precedent: Philips Pavilion

28 II 32

The Soundscape Design Precedent: Mix House

34 III 36

Viewer-Listener Interaction Design Precedent: Sound Lounge

38 42 46 52 54 68 70

DESIGN Program Context Building Concepts Building the Soundscape Empirical Testing Aural Tools

52 74 78 84 87

APPENDIX Glossary Key Physics Annotated Bibliography Image Credit

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Complementary Media:

http://jacksolomon.info/ARC505/

V

indicates an audio clip. indicates a video clip.


shhhhh....

are you listening?


sorry, I missed that...

INTRODUCTION

BANG!


A PARODIC LESSON

A frame from Mel Brook’s Get Smart, an American comedy about a hopeless spy named Maxwell Smart is shown in Figure 1. In this scene, Max calls for the cone of silence, a large oblong box with two interconnected inverted bowls on top, seemingly constructed of a clear plastic material. The intention is to enclose its occupants within a sound-proof shield, and thereby protecting secretive or high-security conversations. However, it proves to be worse than useless, as the defective technology in fact impairs the ability for Max and the Chief to communicate.

The cone of silence is one of the many recurring comical devices from the 1960’s television series Get Smart. As spy Maxwell Smart and the Chief begin to engage in a high-security conversation, Maxwell immediately calls for a gadget to aurally isolate his conversation with the chief. However, the humor of the situation lies in that the gadget itself turns out to be the detriment to their discourse; ironically, once the device is lowered, the conversers cannot understand each other, and the audience can both see and hear their entire struggling conversation. However, “silence” by definition implies an aural characteristic of an environment. For Max to call the “cone of silence” by name, the device should have been obviously designed with aural specifications. What is it about the device that even causes Max to presume it will function as intended? Is it simply the name? Is it because if its shape? Regardless, once in place, both Max and the Chief continue to struggle with the awful acoustic atmosphere, for nearly a full minute. Why is it that we are more willing to put up with poor aural-acoustic environments?

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1

In playing an important role in bringing the image to the foreground in American culture, television required the cone of silence to be both a visual and aural prop. Any implications of privacy are visual, and contradict the aural environment which is actually intended. However, not only does the device fail in providing privacy aurally, but it is also visually transparent, adding another layer of irony to the situation. As noted, this skit hinges on a degree of audio-visual confusion in the design of the technology. Although rendered in an ironic light in Get Smart, the cone of silence as an aural technology speaks to a current position of architectural design - that architects work mostly in a visual context. However, can we assume that a mere visual interpretation of space is always the best and most appropriate solution? Should we rely on gadgets to remedy or obviate the aural experience? The Get Smart parody renders that the aural is not a background, but a crucial and inherent component of reality; it has the potential to provide additional layers of meaning to the experience, and influence architecture’s role in awareness, discourse and learning.


Heschong Heschong

Pallasmaa

Pallasmaa

Holl

Holl The contention runs tangentially to--but not within or parallel to--Heschong’s advocacy for thermal sensuality, Pallasmaa’s desire for haptic integration, and Holl’s argument for architecture to embody the ‘seven senses.’

a reinvested a reinvested relationship relationship

STATEMENT

The growing culture of visual distraction in our society has been exacerbated by contemporary modes of aural isolation.1 This trend has problematized architecture’s role in spatial awareness and discourse in the public realm, and learning in the semi-private realm. In light of the modern approach to the soundscape and acoustics, architecture has failed to adapt to these increasing contemporary concerns as they affect awareness, discourse, and learning.2

This project demonstrates how implicating the soundscape within the visual primacy of design can produce a richer architecture for facilitating awareness, discourse, and learning.

1. The culture of visual distraction in western society has followed a trend of technological miniaturization and mobilization, allowing users to displace themselves from real-life experience at an increasing rate. The newest contemporary technologies, such as the iPhone, have additionally acquired more profound ways of disengaging users from space through aural isolation. Theorist Michael Bull attributes the experiential and social deficiencies of contemporary society to such falsely private yet portable “sound bubbles.” (112) 2. Joel Sanders and Van Lengen discuss how distraction and isolation from the local environment both decreases opportunities for direct social engagement and deprives people of the sensory experience of the environment. (16) Furthermore, contemporary architects that work mostly within a visual context largely deal with acoustics as a process of remediation and reduction. The architect is still challenged to think in auditory terms as fluently as visual terms in designing the soundscape of the environment. As Barry Blesser notes, the consideration of aural architecture offers opportunities for architects in designing the sound of their environments, as they already do with views.

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Pre-renaissance architects designed soundscapes as much an

essential aspect to performance as vision. Modern electronics such as cell phones and personal music players have torn the soundscape out of the designer's palette, and spaces for discourse and learning suffer.


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PART I: Aural-Visual Solidarity PART II: The Soundscape PART III: Viewer-Listener Interaction

CONCEPT/THEORY

CONCEPT/THEORY


“Sound comes to circulate through every day life, and acts as a medium for personal and social transformation.” - Brandon LaBelle, Acoustic Territories

I AURAL-VISUAL SOLIDARITY

freeway

office/commercial residential

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hjighway

light industry

Every space has an acoustic signature. In this re­­­ gard, buildings can be considered as a means for manipulating the soundscape in order to create more enjoyable or appropriate environments. Because the aural character is so closely tied to personal experience of any space, it can fulfill social, cultural, and even symbolic roles. A similar logic which Heschong applies to thermal sensitivity in Thermal Delight in Architecture can be attributed to sound – whether drawing people together physically as in performance spaces, or knitting social fabric together simply via what is heard in the common soundscape, sound acts as an experience to be shared. Today’s iPod isolation allows a means to obviate this. The use of technology to remedy a poorly designed aural space through aural isolation is an un-architectural response.

The visual experience of a space depends on where we choose to direct our line of sight. Therefore, boundaries remain primary and volume or area is secondary. (Blesser) The opposite is true for the aural, as sound fills space and can be detected regardless of sight lines. Furthermore, the visual and aural aspects in which the built environment exists are not mutually exclusive; any decisions based on visual intentions have direct consequences on the auditory, and vice versa. As LaBelle discusses “often sound is what lends to directing our visual focus – we hear something and this tells us where to look…sound comes to circulate through everyday life, and acts as a medium for personal pinna(LaBelle, xix) For eardrum and social transformation.” this reason, ear canal earbones designers of space long ago operated within eustachian the shared tube realm of sound and vision.


spatial designer

pre-renaissance architecture

architect

sound designers

architect

modern architecture

acoustician

contemporary space for performance

aural architecture of modern music

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PREHISTORIC

ANCIENT GREECE/ROME

INFLUENCE OF SOUND IN ARCHITECTURAL HISTORY aural environment:

fire

amphitheaters temples

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type of sound:

In prehistoric times, circling around a fire [Figure 4] not only allowed optimal arrangement for thermal comfort, but arguably more importantly on the social level for optimal auditory intelligibility. The acoustic world consisted of topography, wildlife, and the simplest of man-made structures. There were no big rooms to create reverberations, and sounds were heard without amplification. 1

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raw sound

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first musical instruments

The relationship of sound and spatial design is one that is deeply rooted in history. As civilization developed, not only did the sounds that mankind experienced change, but both the listening environments and the very culture of listening evolved as well.

Pre-literate culture relied completely on face-to-face and real sensory experience.

Historically, sound had played a more considered role in the conception of architecture than it does today. Pre-literate culture relied completely on face-to-face interaction and real sensory experience. (Hobart, 14) In essence, due to the lack of alphabet and visual media, early human cultures were less visually-oriented and much more aware and sensitive to aural environments than present-day. (Van Lengen, 16) Since soundmaking and observation was the primary method of communication, both were important to social functions and occupiable space.

Some of the most compelling examples of deliberate acoustic design to date exist within ancient architecture. Whispering galleries create an experience of aural proximity compared to its visual remoteness, Roman resonant chambers show an uncanny sophistication in understanding reverberation, and Greek amphitheaters project near-perfectly intelligible sound to every listener. Vitruvius uses the vast Greek understanding and application of acoustic phenomenology in The Ten Books of Architecture, to emphasize that sound and music are well within the architect’s realm of practice. As Sheridan observes, Vitruvius’ textual devotion to sound is comparable to site, materials, and color—something that cannot be said of contemporary writings of architecture. (38)

The exceptional acoustics in 6th century BC Epidaurus Theatre [Figures 5 & 6], allow every seat to have almost perfect intelligibility. The limestone absorbs lowfrequency sounds and reflects high-frequency sound.

Vitruvius’ writing on sound discusses how the musical experience can be translated into the visual dimensions of architecture, as well as acoustics and phenomenology.


theaters circuses

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town bells Early artists and designers had commonly shown an interest in manipulating the acoustic environment. Sound was a sensory property of architecture that was manipulated through geometry and absorption, in order to enhance the functional role of buildings. People recognized the power of the sonic environment to create modes of awareness and social interaction between users in ways that the visual did not. The aural was an inherent concept of architectural form making.

Sound was a sensory property of architecture that was manipulated through geometry and absorption.

Figure 7 shows a sonic Installation for eavesdropping Rome, 1673. Listening horns are used manipulate the acoustics of the environment to hear guests and servants. Figure 8 depicts an explored method to create the illusion of a speaking statue, Rome, 1650. In medieval times, whole villages were even planned around sound. Citizenship was determined by the individual ability to hear the town bells - if you could not hear the bells, you were not a member of the town. (Blesser, 29)

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gothic cathedrals

concert halls opera houses

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sacred word, plain chant

pipe organs

early harmonics more complex harmonics of western classical music

The Cistercian Abbey of Le Thoronet [Figure 9] functions as an “acoustical mirror,” and is famous for its highly sophisticated acoustic resonance. San Marco in Venice, also known for its quality of resonance is shown in Figure 10.

The physical space was modeled to enhance the sounds it would contain. For example, Gregorian and Plain chants, benefited from the long reverberation times (around 9 seconds). 3

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Sacred architecture was in fact based upon its sonic responsive character to the human body, in a similar fashion to preliterate Greek architecture. The experience of public worship, continued via auditory tradition, required sensible solutions of dealing with acoustics. Religious works of architecture “did not bring an orally transmitted mythic past into visual space so much as they created a kind of visual envelope around the core aural experience of the liturgy.” (Sheridan, 39) Acoustic conditions and characteristics became part of the design concept for churches and cathedrals in creating resonance for the sacred word. Gothic architecture’s tendency to allow multiple sounds to coexist in time and space is frequently credited as the catalyst that allowed for the evolution of western harmonic music theory. Through the early renaissance, more complex harmonies became the new sounds enjoyed by the public; however, they ironically soon became unintelligible in the existing structures due to the long reverberation times.

By the eighteenth century, entirely new listening environments were desired with a new set of visual and acoustic goals. As a result, by the eighteenth century, entirely new listening environments were desired with a new set of visual and acoustic goals: to have the musical performer as both the visual and aural focal point. While these new spaces better allowed the classical harmonies to be appreciated, the process of musical performance also became more of a visual spectacle. (See Figure 11.) In some cases, visually-driven efforts even compromised the listening experience. It was at this point in history that sound optimization in architecture thus began to pursue a the performance building-type.

The first and most common solution was a simple rectangle, or the “shoebox,” which enhanced musical sound due to side reflections. However, with the rebirth of the arts of the period came a fascination with the visual. Constant efforts to get the viewerlistener visually closer lead to a variety of schemes -- including stacked-balcony seating [Figure 13], and fan-shaped halls -despite that they did not afford a better listening experience.


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protected courtyard

The first opera experiences through the 18th century were also in fact more social environments than their later or current forms. The audience would eat, drink, gossip amongst themselves, and even yell to the performers on stage. (Byrne) Naturally, this required the music performed at these venues to be louder in volume. However, by the time of Carnegie Hall [Figure 12], with a gained respect for the art of the music there was a general understood rule that the audience was to keep quiet. This allowed the sonic progression of classical music to take on more texture and dynamics. Mildly longer reverberation times enhanced this aural experience.

acoustic shadow

ď ° [Figure 13] The acoustic shadow of reflected sound cast due to balcony seating .

Sound optimization in architecture began to pursue a specific building type. high frequency

low frequency

Sabine’s mathematical discovery (T = .164 V / a) directly related architectural character and acoustic character. Sabine assisted with the design of Boston Symphony Hall [Figure 14] in 1900; it was one of the first auditoriums in the world to be designed with scientificallyderived acoustic principles, with a reverb time of 1.8 seconds.

In the mid-19th century, Wallace Sabine, the founder of architectural acoustics, successfully remedied the acoustically ill-conceived Fogg Art Lecture Hall [Figure 20]. In doing so, he remarkably discovered a definitive mathematical relationship between the quality of the acoustics, architectural volume, and amount of absorption. His findings allowed designers of performance space to make informed decisions regarding their acoustic environment (without using the conventional precedental or guess-and-check methods). 15


microphone, telephone, phonograph

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recorded signal Figure 15 is an advertisement for the Aeolian Vocalion Phonograph, from a 1915 issue of The New York Times. Not only does it show the new relationship of sound consumption within an implied larger space, but it does so with a graphic-visual representation.

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blues, jazz, rock, hip hop, pop Concurrently, an entire new mode of listening developed with the inventions of the transmitted and recorded signal. The invention of the phonograph and recorded sound in the late 19th century instigated the disconnection of natural sound and space, and the aural experience of the environment. (See Figures 15 & 16.)

There was a disconnection of the natural relationship between sound and space. People began consuming sounds, which set up utterly new relationships between sound and architecture. (Thompson, 237) Families and office workers gathered around the broadcast of the radio, and cars and homes became spaces for listening to foreign sounds. For the first time, a completely separate soundtrack could be injected into architecture and the soundscape of the natural world; there was no longer a relevant or supplementary visual-architectural relationship to sources of sound. As a result, designers ceased to take aural factors into serious consideration in designing spaces for discourse and learning.

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home radios and televisions


discotheque club

amplified theaters

amplified performance spaces

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electro-acoustic effects Electro-acoustic technologies further estranged this relationship, as recorded sound became spatially manipulatable. By 1929, a new and virtual form of aural architecture was born, as producers in Hollywood wired their studios to be able to reproduce a synthetic spatiality in their sounds. (Thompson, 278)

Studio-produced music also began to be performed for concert venues in large arenas and stadiums, some of the worst acoustic spaces with up to 7 seconds of reverb time. Figure 18 shows the first major amplified outdoor stadium concert in America, when the Beatles played at Shea Stadium in 1965.

large stadiums

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electric guitar, synthesizers Physical performance spaces being built after the influence of the modern recorded sound also reflected this change in listening culture as well. Musical performance became an obsession with sound purity and crispness, as it existed in the recorded versions. The sound of physical space was absorbed as much as possible with acoustic building materials, and amplified signals are piped in by speakers. Professional architects actually cut the recommendation for reverberation time in half from 3 seconds in 1923 to 1.5 seconds in 1930. (Blesser, 108) Radio City Music Hall [Figure 17] was one of the first electronically amplified concert halls, with a reverberation time of less than one second. It epitomizes the new world of listening, where the natural relationship between sound and space has been divorced.

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discotheque club

large stadiums

portable music player

Trend for Acoustic Design

architect

$

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$$ contemporary pop Increasing advancements in technology continue to infiltrate external shared listening environments with private aural isolation. Mobile devices such as the iPod [Figure 19] allow people to completely replace the natural soundtrack of the environment with a foreign, personalized one.

Increasing advancements in technology continue to infiltrate external shared listening environments with private aural isolation.

mobile telephone

Over time, sound went from being a primary concern personal music players which was fully integrated into the functional use of buildings, to being merely specialized by building-type and separated from architecture. As shown in Figure 20, the contemporary aural environment is largely considered in the specialized type for auditory performance spaces, where the architect relies on the acoustician provided the $$$ budget allows. In these specialized types of spaces, there is little human social interaction or acknowledgement of the surrounding environment. On the other hand, aural environments where social interaction takes place in the forms of awareness, discourse, and learning, lie within the realm of the architect. acoustician

iPod Provides personal listening experience, synthetic architecture

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Desirable Reverberation Times [Figure 20] Conference Room Cellular Office Classroom Open Office

Program / Building Type

Lecture room Fog Art Lecture Hall Original Reverb Time: 5.2 sec before Sabine

Recording Studio Drama Cinema Small Theaters School Auditorium Multipurpose Auditorium Churches - Cathedrals

Dance and rock Musical Amplified Concerts Recital / Chamber Opera Choral Classical Orchestra / Organ Concert Hall Anechoic Chamber

Reverb Time

0.0 0.2 0.4 DRY SPACE Rapid Decay

0.6

Speech Only Speech / Music Music

0.8

1.0

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1.4.

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LIVE SPACE Slow Decay

i.e. in Discourse / Learning / Awareness Performance Performance

Adapted from Grueneisern, 26.

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PREHISTORIC

ANCIENT GREECE/ROME

MIDDLE AGES

San Marco Venice, Italy,1071 Gregorian and Plain chants reverb time: 9 seconds

Theater Epidaurus Greece, 325 B.C. Exceptional acoustics allow every seat to have almost perfect intelligibility. Limestone absorbs out low-frequency sounds and reflects high-frequency sounds. reverb time: ~1 second 1

RENAISSANCE

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BAROQUE : 1600-1750

CLASSICAL:1750-1820 Bach, Handel

Taj Mahal Agra, India, 1653 longest architectural reverb time: 28 seconds

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Mozart, Beethoven

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SOUND IN ARCHITECTURE

fire

cave

amphitheaters temples

theaters circuses

gothic cathedrals small theaters ballrooms music rooms

concert halls opera houses

SOUND IN OTHER LISTENING ENVIRONMENT

Topography & wildlife constitute the acoustic world; man uses sound in social setting within natural field

Space produces long reverberation times, and allows more than 1 tone to exist in time

Complex harmonies and music theory develops, shorter reverberation times desired for music

La Scala Milan, 1776 reverb time: 1.

Audience sonic interaction with performance


ROMANTIC:1820-1900

EARLY 20TH CENTURY

Debussy, Stravinsky Carnegie Hall New York City, 1891 People were now quieter, and music contained more extreme dynamics, rhythm, and more texture reverb time: 1.7 sec

.2 sec

LATE 20TH CENTURY Blues, Jazz, Rock ‘ n’ Roll, Hip Hop Club World, Pop, Electro

Symphony Hall Boston, 1900 Sabine assisted in design; one of the first auditoriums in the world to be designed with scienteiffically derived acoustic principles reverb time: 1.8 sec

Radio City Music Hall New York City, 1933 One of the first electronically amplified concert halls reverb time: <1.0 sec

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amplified concert halls amplified theaters

telephone microphone earphone

phonograph

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television radio

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Shea Stadium New York City, 1965 Beatles play in the first major outdoor stadium concert in America reverb time: 4-7 sec 11

discotheque club

car

large stadiums

mobile telephone personal music players

raw sound

Sabine determines equation for optimal reverberation

The Home Radio 1912, Injects aural experience into existing architecture, i.e. home, office.

Car Audio Smaller, slightly more social setting for playing music; develops very large frequency range

iPod Provides personal listening experience, synthetic architecture

raw sound in performance transmitted sound electro-acoustically enhanced sound individual experience

Audience sonic interaction deemed inappropriate

Man invents signal / recorded sound

Production of sound-absorbing materials

Electro-acoustic effects enhance recorded sound; recorded music as aural architecture with inherent synthetic space

social activity, with limited interaction social experience


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Aural design pursues a specific building type, influenced by a visual agenda

SOUND IN ARCHITECTURE

SOUND IN OTHER LISTENING ENVIRONMENT

Sound is divorced from its natural relationship with space, with the emergence of new modes of listening.

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TOWARDS A NEW HIERARCHY

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Since the visual preoccupancy of the renaissance and literate culture, there has been an increasing sensory dominance of vision in Western society, limiting the capacity for architecture to facilitate awareness and discourse in the public realm and learning in the semi-private. It was during the Renaissance that formal architecture was freed from its foundational communicative qualities and began to be primarily organized around visual principles, i.e. its perspectival representation. (Van Lengen, 16)

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Furthermore, the new international-style modern movement of architecture in the early 20th century had a strictly functional and visual agenda. It did not acknowledge the aural architecture of space in its progression. (Thompson, 172) As architects adopted the functional and visual-aesthetic foundations of the modernist movement, acoustic design found itself further isolated as simply a process of remediation.

Modernism had a strictly functional and visual agenda. It did not acknowledge the aural architecture of space in its progression.

Terragniâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Casa del Fascio in Como Italy (1932) [Figure 22] represents a prominent example of International Style modernity, as a building solely conceptualized for visual simplicity and functional elegance.


= Visual simplicity had an unintended aural consequence. Not only did modernism ignore aural architecture, but it in fact inhibited it; visual simplicity had an unintended aural consequence. Emily Thompson accounts how modern architectureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tendency to strip ornament resulted in a condition she calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;acoustic glare.â&#x20AC;? Beyond the new, clean and functional visual aesthetic, the elimination of architectural ornamentation also eradicated any inherent architectural means to diffuse sound.

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t The successes and failures of visual and aural architectures of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City are diagrammed in Figure 23. Figure 24 maps in section the effect of acoustic glare.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City is an ideal example of the visual-functional basis of modernity. The simplicity of the space contributes to a highly visually successful environment. What is seen enhances the architectural environment for the museum, and facilitates visual relationships that enhance viewing public art. However, the project fails to acknowledge any aural consequences at its inception. Acoustic glare produced by the hard, flat surfaces create a negative aural aesthetic of the space, one that conflicts with viewing art. The sounds of virtually everyone in the main atrium resonate up and throughout the whole main gallery, affecting the experience (and I argue for the worse). Ironically, the museum offers personal audio-wear, in order to reconnect people with the art. However, this fix seems quite un-architectural, as the inherent un-designed aural architecture of the building is replaced with a different soundtrack.

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DESIGN PRECEDENT The Philips Pavilion Le Corbusier, Iannis Xenakis, Edgard Varese Brussels, Belgium, 1958 World Fair Pavilion for audio/visual technologies of the Philips Corporation

The interior of the project featured an 8 minute show of music and visuals. (Photographs of the show are shown in Figures 26-28.)

Conversely, a remarkable exception to the visual-functional trend of the modern movement is the Philips Pavilion, or Poème Êlectronique. As the pavilion was conceived as a container for showcasing electronic technology, it was one of the first attempts in modernity to provoke the notion and capacity of sound to inform spatial form. In the visual architecture was therefore a direct result of its acoustic capacity to shape sound. The success in the project lies in its creative use of image and sound as materials in creating an immersive architectural experience.

[Figure 25] A Postcard issued at the World Expo 1958.

The visual architecture was a direct result of its acoustic capacity to shape sound.

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[Figures 26+27] Interior photographs taken during the 8-minute performance. The array of speakers along the interior of the structure is shown in Figure 28.

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The audio component of the piece was to demonstrate the experiential aspects of binaural sound, reverberation, and echo. 350 speakers were employed all over the interior of the structure in order to deliver sounds from shifting directions around the audience.

Figure 29 shows the possible sound paths inside the Pavilion; each paraboloid was designed in the way that it would sculpt the aural experience.

The pavilion is a benchmark in the creation of aural architecture, as the sound was not only composed for the space, but the space also simultaneously for its sound.

The sound was not only composed for the space, but the space simultaneously for its sound. The structure itself consisted of 9 concrete hyperbolic paraboloids made of pre-stressed concrete. The interior surfaces were hardened with asbestos in order to achieve the desired acoustic character, and were each lined with loudspeakers. Visitors were to circulate using a continuous path through one curved corridor, stopping for the 8 minute presentation in the center of the stomach-shaped plan [Figure 32]. The highly perscribed coordination of the spatial geometry, user circulation, and sound-imagery placement sculpted the aural-visual experience.

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Clockwise from Left: [Figure 30] Transverse Section and Axonometric. [Figure 31] Sketches showing development of parabaloid form. [Figure 32] Plan.

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“We must seek a way to make environmental acoustics a positive study program. Which sounds to we want to preserve, encourage, multiply?” - R. Murray Schafer, The Soundscape

II THE SOUNDSCAPE

During the 20th Century, sound artist R. Murray Schafer examined the changes in sonic environment. He coined the term “soundscape,” the auditory equivalent of a landscape, comprised of both the aural architecture of a given environment and the set of physical sounds which serve to illuminate it. The soundscape is a dynamic context, a constantly evolving culture, and a character of a place/time. We as humans are capable of making sounds, but not light; the soundscape is an interactive composition where the user is both the listener and composer. For this reason, Schafer advocates for the power of sound over light, as it provokes human response and reaction, and has the potential to do so more than visual imagery.

A soundscape creates a sense of place. 30

Soundscapes creates a sense of place. The most common instance, for example, is in how we distinguish inside from outside. (LaBelle, xix) As absorbing information aurally differs from doing so visually, an aural-visual reinvestment has the potential to be especially fruitful and relevant in light of today’s modes of mobilized aural isolation and visual distraction. In talking about sound, it is also important to discuss silence. As both Blesser and Schafer mention throughout in their texts, we do not have ‘ear-lids,’ or a means for closing off our sense of hearing to the world (as we are able to do with seeing). Consequently, designing the soundscape is thus crucial. Realistically, the concept of pure silence is impossible. Even when immersed in the quietest of environments, “as we think, we speak voicelessly to ourselves.” (Schafer, 59)


32 33

Theoretically, the concept of pure silence is unnatural and unsettling. Let us consider the possibility of a mute city. The silence would contradict the very atmosphere of being outdoors, as the common soundscape of any contemporary city has become an integral part of its urban experience.

Figure 32, known as “The Enraged Musician,” is a William Hogarth print from 1741, depicting the noise of 18th century city street, completely organic in nature.

Up until the 18th century, the sonic world was virtually completely organic in nature, at which point increased urbanization began to progressively concentrate these sounds. As the American city continued to densify through the industrial revolution, these sounds became less organic in nature. Because a lot of these sounds were also louder, the quick architectural response was to prevent it from entering the “inside” realm. As early as 1920, the desire for quieter aural environments as a retreat from the louder “outside” was sought not just in churches and concert halls, but spaces of everyday life. (Thompson, 119) Scientific research generated new building materials for controlling noise and an architectural strive for silence ensued; aural-architectural design was backed into a pursuit for silence. Thus, the conscious integration of

the soundscape for experiential purposes has been largely worked out of the profession. Schafer is critical of this: “Noise pollution results when a man does not listen carefully. Noises are the sounds we have learned to ignore. Noise pollution today is being resisted by noise abatement. This is a negative approach. We must seek a way to make environmental acoustics a positive study program. Which sounds do we want to preserve, encourage, multiply?” (4) Throughout the last few decades, mobilized and miniaturized devices have increasingly complicated the soundscape. Not only do they themselves add to it, as demonstrated in Figure 37, but they also provide a (relatively new-found) way to obviate it completely. Although the contents of our sonic context have vastly evolved from their once-organic nature, the purpose for listening has relatively stayed the same throughout history - e.g. awareness, discourse, and learning. It is therefore a crucial time for architecture to re-embrace and spatialize this ability for the ear to orient, identify, and relate oneself in a context through a real-lived and shared experience.

 Figures 34 - 37 visually document the changing soundscape through history, within perceptible equal loudness contours.

Bruce Eric Kaplan uses the concept of the soundscape in his New Yorker cartoon [Figure 33]. The irony in the depicted situation sheds light on how people in contemporary society are used to customizing their soundscapes, usually at the cost of experiencing their landscape and enviornment.

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[Figure 35]

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Threshold of Pain 120

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[Figure 34]

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man-made materials which coincidentally absorb sound, i.e. carpet.

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the natural acoustic world

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[Figure 37]

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First modern ear-plugs for purpose of blocking sound, 1967.

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Proliferation of materials for sound absorption flood the market, including Rumford tile and the acoustic drop-ceiling.

TODAY

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18

DESIGN PRECEDENT Mix House Karen van Lengen, Joel Sanders, Ben Rubin 2007 Private Residence

Residents customize the interior soundscape through a mixing table in the center of the residence (Figure 38).

This concept for a residence in suburban Virginia explores the possibility of

customizing the soundscape of the private home. It looks to engage its residents with the frequently overlooked natural and cultural qualities of the home-environment; the conscious act of listening and recording is intended to become a central activity for the residing family. The user-designed, private soundscape of the project is quite similar to the customized, private aural environment of the portable music player; in essence the project interprets the house as an iPod. The dwelling is comprised of two â&#x20AC;&#x153;sound-gatheringâ&#x20AC;? volumes, lined with three audio-visual windows. The architecture draws upon the sounds and sights of the suburban context, i.e. the front yard, the back yard, and the sky. The project successfully extends the concept of phenomenal transparency from the visual dimension to the aural, and from the landscape to the soundscape.

[Figure 39] The corresponding picture window and target sound are illustrated in both section and plan.

38

tracking/movement

The rear window detail, functioning as an architecture-scale volume dial, is shown in Figure 40. The bellowing-louvered glass also contains an embedded microphone/camera, so that sounds from the back yard may be either transmitted naturally or electronically into the interior.

39

34

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41

The intentions of the mix house speak to those of the aforementioned eavesdropping installation in Rome, 1673 (far right). Both projects manipulate the sonic environment of their volumes by using the outside soundscape as a direct contextual influence.

How can the soundscape of the modern home be customized?

= 35


“Our sensory experiences are increasingly influenced by the proliferation of electronic audiovisual devices which are a part of our daily lives.” - Karen Van Lengen, Re-Envisioning Audio Techno-Culture (15)

III VIEWER-LISTENER INTERACTION

Over time, the possible spaces for human exchange have altered the boundaries of public and private environments and evolved to occupy our senses in new ways. The contemporary user navigates between two “spaces” of interaction - the virtual and the real. Virtual space challenges the architecture of physical space through distraction. Aural isolation further inhibits architecture’s role in public awareness and discourse and semiprivate learning. According to Van Lengen, architects and designers can potentially address these changes through heightened human communication and multi-sensory stimulation, “to actively promote social discourse, debate, and interaction between local people in real time and space.” (16) Therefore, the goal of this thesis is not to rid iPod usage through an architecture, but rather to emphasize the importance of the soundscape within the visual agenda of contemporary architectural design, in creating create positive environments for awareness, discourse and learning.

36

Even the first modes of purely visual communication (painting and books) can even be interpreted as ‘virtual’ experiences, defined by the private space between the reader’s mind and the author’s medium.

Earlier stationary forms of aural isolation and visual distraction still required users to be physically linked with space. However, their modern capacity for mobility has greatly altered the audio-visual implications of public and private space.


Mode/Technology

As It Affects... social discourse & interaction

[Figure 43] Beginning with the earliest forms of imagery and the printing press, technology has induced a decreasing reliance of the spoken word within the built environment. As a result, architecture has lost its functionality as a primary transmitter of aural discourse and learning.

personal learning

V/A

un-awareness of physical space

speech

mass-speech

imagery

printed text

telephone

radio

television

computer/internet

mobile phone visual act

visual act

portable music player aural act

aural act

visually distracting act

aurally isolating act

smartphone

iPhone

visually distracti

aurally isolating

37


DESIGN PRECEDENT Sound Lounge KVL, Joel Sanders Architect Campbell Hall, University of Virginia, 2010 Interactive Student Lounge

 A typical sound cone, [Figure 47], uses speakers which emits ultrasound waves as its source. The longer wavelengths travel much faster through air, and therefore direct sound to a focused area (demarcated visually with a color change in carpeting).

While contemporary mobile technology tends to spatially isolate users through privatized aural environments, the sound lounge is intended to use similar media in order to bring users together [Figure 46]. The sonic cones are located between the mezzanine and lower level area of the lobby, and contain sound-directing speakers for the creation of separate listening environments within a larger open floor plan. In these sound spaces, groups of students and teachers can select information and music to experience together through a shared soundscape.

 The project crosses architecture and media to encourage students and professors to share audiovisual experiences, as illustrated in Figure 48.

How can similar technological media be implemented in order to bring users together?

44

The separate spaces of the Sound Lounge are not defined by traditional solid walls or partitions, but by immaterial sound. This allows for these learning environments to exist in a more flexible and informal setting. (See sectional Figures 44 & 45).

 Figures 49-51 show the finished lounge, outfitted with mobile furniture for flexibility, in use by students.

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A preschool and daycare center designed for Syracuse demonstrates how investment in the soundscape, through the use of simple acoustic effects, can produce a richer architecture for facilitating awareness, discourse, and learning. Each daily activity the pre-literate child carries out is exploited architecturally as a distinct audio-visual experience.


42 46 52 54 68 70

Program Context Building Concepts Building the Soundscape Empirical Testing Aural Tools

DESIGN

DESIGN


PROGRAM The pre-literate childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s learning is rich with things to touch, taste, hear, and see. Before they move on to a world filled with visual distraction and e-mail, we might help them take pleasure in learning by listening to what they see.

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43


Day of Week

A pre-k and daycare center motivated by a soundscape as well as visuals addresses the persistent importance of such physical environments for awareness, discourse, and learning. What better place to start than a preschool – before the users move on to become engaged with iPods and email. For this reason, preschool children are listening in a different world. Their primary methods of interaction with their environments is through sound and vision.

PROGRAM

SQ FT

S

M

T

W

2-3 yrs 3-4 yrs 4-5 yrs

parking lot / drop off

13000

drop/off pick-up:

Day of Week

SQ FTup to 120 en- PROGRAM

SQ FT

up to 120 enrolled

parking lot / drop off

up to 120 enrolled

S lot / Mdrop offT parking

105 X

2000

drop/off pick-up: 520 520 520 520 520

PRE-K PRE-K

1600 520 800

50 X

PRE-K

44 60 X

1600 520 800

pledge

singing + music alphabet phonetics + speech letter + number writing snack art room

DAYDAY-CARE writing 105 X CARE

reading room + storytelling discovery lunch room / enrichment

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Th

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(1) 6 wk – 12 mo child care

S

speech transition

storytelling

550

S

S PRE-K

speech

T

ABC Billy’s mother drops him off with a pre-k staff member at 8:30 am Billy’s mother drops him member at 8:30 am

W

singing discovery Billy’s mother meets him on the ramp at 12 pm to take him home

motor - indoor

lunch / enrich.

pledge pledge

staff lounge admin offices (5) (1) 6 wkkitchen – 12 mo child care

building assemble on the ramp and recite the Pledge of Allegiance together

(2) 1 -2 storage years child care (1) 6 wk – 12 mo child care

(2) 2-4 years child care (2) 1 -2 years child care 2@550 2@550 (1) 5-7 years child 1 care PRE-K GROUP 12 550 childyears carechild care 2@550 (1) 7-9 550(2) 2-4 years (1) 5-7 years child care 550 is based on the suggested 35 sq-ft G per2child 12 ABC550*square footage (1)per 7-9 years child care and 12 children room

*

All 60 pre-k students have a 40-minute play writing recess together

writing

speech

Th

ABC

transition 60 60 speech ABC storytelling

Billy joins his group of 12 and begins his day with Writing

snack art

snack

pre-k students who have arrived before 9 am

60

At 9 am, all c building asse andinreth At 9 am, all ramp children of Allegiance building assemble on the

+60

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G3

*

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singing

G 4 12 7:00 6:30 G 5 12

singing discovery

Billy

*

art

Billy and his 11 classmates travel to the Speech room

discovery

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Billy plays with other pre-k students who have arrived Billy plays with otherbefore 9 am

transition

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art

(1) 7-9 years child care

Billy’s mother drops him off with a pre-k staff member at 8:30 am

G3

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2@550 550 550

*square footage is based on the suggested 35 sq-ft per child and 12 children per room

S

drop/off pick-up:

(2) 1 -2 years child care

letter + number writing arrived before 9 am reading room + storytelling 1600snack mechanical / service art room 520 discovery reading room + storytelling lunch room / enrichment 800 60 discovery acoustic quiet garden At 9 am, all children in the lunch room / enrichment 5@200 550 800 2@550

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snack

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Th

off with a pre-k staff Day of Week

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storytelling

PROGRAM Curriculum-free child care is available year13000 round, Monday - Friday 9:00 am-12:00 pm. Daycare is also based on age group. Pre-k parents may also choose to enroll their children in the daycare program.

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reading room + storytelling

1600

60 X

SDay ofMWeekT

singing + music alphabet phonetics + speech letter + number writing snack art room

520 520 520 520 520

rolled PROGRAM PRE-K

FT The preschool day is structured around 7SQ major periods, each exploited as a distinct audio-visual experience. The total pre-k enrollment capacity of 120 students (60 per day) is divided into 6 groups of twelve children. Groups are based on age.

pledge

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Billy’s mother meets him on the ramp at 12 pm to take him home

Billy’s mother drops him off with a pre-k staff member at 8:30 am

drop/off pick-up: Billy plays with other pre-k students who have arrived before 9 am

All 60 pre-k students have a 40-minute play recess together

60

pledge

singing + music alphabet phonetics + speech etter + number writing snack art room

60 60

Billy joins his group of 12 and begins his day with Writing

Day of Week

PRE-K GROUP 1 12

writing

reading room + storytelling

discovery unch room / enrichment

At 9 am, all children in the building assemble on the ramp and recite the Pledge of Allegiance together

S

M

6 mo9 yrs

T

W

Th

speech

F

Billy and his 11 classmates travel to the Speech room

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ABC

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G3

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1) 6 wk – 12 mo child care

2) 1 -2 years child care

Billy’s mother meets him on the ramp at 12 pm to take him home

art

G 4 12

1) 5-7 years child care 1) 7-9 years child care

singing

G 5 12

the suggested 35 sq-ft per child

discovery

G 6 12

2) 2-4 years child care

All 60 pre-k students have a 40-minute play recess together

children in the emble on the ecite the Pledge e together

PERIOD

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60 60 Parents may obtain an access pass into the building; they may drop off/pick up their child at their designated daycare room, at any time from 7 am - 5pm

e

drop/off pick-up:

his group of 12 and s day with Writing

Daycare staff decides when their group eats lunch in the atrium

15 Daycare staff decides when their group’s naptime is each day

n

and his 11 classmates travel to the Speech room

Daycare staff alternate taking their groups to shared play areas (when not in use by pre-k)

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Time of Day Billy rejoins his group for Discovery, the last period of his day

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ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS

45


CONTEXT Civic buildings once spoke eloquently through their ornament, but a challenge of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visual noise is to let them speak to our ears, as well as our eyes, in our urban thoroughfares. The project is placed on a high profile site where people can begin to hear every form. Every visible change in the exterior envelope or form, represents an acoustic event, from individual reading nooks, to the distinct loudness levels of the morning motor rooms.

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selected site

Although the site for the project could have been anywhere, The city of Syracuse was chosen as the regional context, due to both its cultural familiarity and proximity for audio recording. By overlapping densities of preschool children, residential areas, and existing preschool locations, 3 potential sites were identified.

49


One of the sites had the advantage of a neighboring commercial strip and community park, for the potential of providing some kind of acoustic experience for the passerby.

0 10 20

R. Murray Schafer breaks down the sonic contents of a soundscape into the following three components: (a) keynote sounds, the natural or man-made â&#x20AC;&#x153;backgroundâ&#x20AC;? (b) signals, foregrounded sounds (c) and soundmarks, keynote sounds or signals usually possessing symbolic meaning, and noticed or regarded by the community in a special way. (64)

50

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200

The soundscapes, most broadly consisting of sounds of nature, infrastructure, movement, and people, were visually and aurally documented via soundwalks, and incorportated into the representation of the project (in video and interactive-rollover form).

Any architecture manipulates the soundscape, and can therefore influence the categorization of a sound as a keynote sound, signal or soundmark.

JA

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BUILDING CONCEPT Site with Lot Setback Produces 2 Levels.

52

Cut Out Void for Enclosed Quiet Acoustic Garden

...and Maximum Daylighting.


Create A Distinct Entrance for Each User Group.

Resulting Programmatic Distribution

Maintain Pedestrian Connection between Neighboring Commercial, Residential and Park Sectors.

Provide Acoustic Experience for Passersby.

53


BUILDING THE SOUNDSCAPE

54

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55


LEVEL 1 Both the ramp and the acoustic garden, perform as safe mixing areas for parents and their children, and provide architectural audio-visual connections between the two user groups. The daycare (multipurpose) spaces have direct access and operable visual and acoustic transparency to the garden. Parents access their respective daycare programs through the garden. Because children spend most of their time in one daycare room, they were made multi-purpose with operable visual-acoustic panels. These panels alter not only daylight, but also internal reverb time and volume/accessibility to the acoustic garden (depending on the current activity. For instance, naptime could benefit from a shorter reverb time and more absorbancy.

56


staff storage

daycare 5-7 yr

daycare 7-9 yr

up

daycare 2-4 yr

daycare 2-4 yr

acoustic wind sculpture up

up

up

daycare 1-2 yr

indoor motor storage

storage indoor motor daycare 6 wk - 12 mo

daycare 1-2 yr

listening window

bird feeder

L1

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LEVEL 2 The second level houses the pre-k curriculum, a loop of varying sonic topography. The design goal of the project is to manipulate the daily experience of sound for the preschooler. The different activities were exploited as different rooms with different aural requirements â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from rehearsing the phonetics of the alphabet and singing, to carrying on their first conversations with peers of their age. In small rooms, such as the alphabet room, interfering reflections were controlled and ambient sound fields were created. When the roomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surfaces are relatively close to the listener, as in all of these small rooms, a very efficient diffusing surface, especially in those rooms where clarity of speech between teacher and student for learning is essential..

58


art

mech / storage

singing

snack

outdoor play

lunch

to roof

ound

up

story

playgr

up

reading

indoor motor below

speech writing

L2

discovery

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The center not only caters to children, and their always open ears and eyes, but also choreographs the connection between parents with their cell phones and their children with voices.

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A pedestrian corridor, protected by vegetation and garden walls, provides an acoustic experience for the passerby, while maintaining the connections between commercial, residential and park sectors. A partial-gravel path was chosen for its tactility and differentiated sound.

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The texture of the day is made rich by aural-visual changes in the different learning activities. Sound, vision, and architecture are sculpted together to create a new set of experiences that affect both children and their parents on a day-to-day basis. The soundscape is complex, as the atrium and layers work together. The facing page is an attempt at effect-based drawings designers can use to understand the varying soundscape of their environments, similar to heat map drawings for thermal studies.

66


h 7:00 AM

8:30 AM

11:30 AM

9:00 AM

11:45 AM

10:30 AM

12:00 PM

67 3:00 PM

7:00 PM


EMPRICAL TESTING

4

individually optimized learning spaces; microphone - atrium review

operable mirrored wall to atrium

to create a acoustically-corrected zone for a review space in the atrium, demonstrating sound’s crucial role in communication and personal learning

3

2

EMPIRICAL TESTING

adjusting marble room acoustics

1

adjustable acoustic-visual panels

to alter the acoustics of a space when its programmatic function or user group changes

In an effort to fully comprehend sound’s role in space for discourse and learning, I carried out a series of experiments this semester, which directly relate to aspects of design:

G listening horn(s)

Slocum Hall

live lecture feed from Hednrick’s Chapel awareness of an acoustic event concurrently happening elsewhere

68


DESIGN

Roof top Play Yard individually optimized learning spaces; operable mirrored wall to atrium

L2 ABC

adjustable acoustic-visual panels

L1

holosonic bulletin board

listening horn(s)

69


AURAL TOOLS

The implication of an aural agenda within the visual required a refined architectural design process, one that is in tune to the human sense of hearing, and assimilates sound as a physical building material (not dissimilar from light, shadow, concrete, etc.). The addition of new digital tools into the design process can provide a better understanding of the proposed aural environment. A work flow similar to the one illustrated above [Figure 63] can allow for 3D modeling functionality in its full capacity, as well as simulation and auralization feedback within the same platform.

CATT software package at acoustic consultant firm Acentech was used to listen into rooms, and output files were incorporated in a flythrough animation.

Pachyderm is a similar stand-alone plug-in for Rhinoceros, and built with its own material editor, ray-tracing simulator, and auralization component. With the auralization component of Pachyderm, the user can specify materials and STC ratings, place sound sources and receivers, and export rendered .wav files. 70

Both CATT and Pachyderm utilize geometrical acoustics algorithms within the familiar Rhinoceros NURBS and CAD modeling platform.


identify goals

seek solution acoustic simulation BATT

3D Model auralization

Rhino

visualization V-Ray/Max

Pachyderm

63

71


74 78 84 87

Glossary Key Physics Bibliography Image Credit

APPENDIX

APPENDIX


GLOSSARY absorption a property of a material which changes the acoustic energy of sound waves, usually by retention (as opposed to reflection or conduction); degrees of absorption depend on the soundâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s frequency as well the size, shape, and material used for collision surface

aural versus acoustic, parallels visual refers exclusively to the human perception and experience of a sonic process (versus acoustics which is merely the scientific or physical behavior)

acoustics (Blesser 4) from Greek akoustikos â&#x20AC;&#x201C;that which pertains to hearing behavior of sound waves (vibrations) within a medium (most commonly air), usually within a closed space; the central scientific discipline to the subject of sound and space

aural architect (Blesser 5) versus acoustic architect artist/designer/social-engineer who selects specific aural attributes of a space based on what is desirable in a particular cultural framework; focuses on the way listeners experience space (cultural acoustics)

acoustic architect versus aural architect builder/engineer/scientist who implements the aural attributes previously selected by an aural architect; focuses on the way that space changes the physical properties of sound waves (spatial acoustics)

aural architecture properties of a space that can be experienced by listening

acoustic arena (Blesser) range within which listeners can hear a sonic event; determined by both the sonic eventâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and levels of noise and/or reverberation; the size and shape of acoustic arenas have a direct relationship with spatial acoustics When a target sound is too soft to hear, or background noise prevents audibility, the listener is outside the arena. acoustic glare (Thompson) an aurally perceived condition where sound energy is harshly reflected, usually due to the lack of means for acoustic absorption or diffusion; attributed to Emily Thompson. acoustic shadow an area behind a solid object in which direct sound from a source is obstructed by an object; the head shadow is an example of an acoustic shadow, and contributes to binaural hearing auditory spatial awareness (Blesser 12) the phenomenology of aural space; the manifestation of an aural environment in: (1) influencing user social behavior, (2) allowing spatial orientation/navigation, (3) affecting spatial aesthetic, (4) enhancing the experience of music and voice

74

aural isolation a condition or process of seclusion or privatization of the local existing sonic environment, most commonly with headphones auralization a technique for the creation and reproduction of sound based on computer data; most commonly used in predicting the character of sound signals generated at a given source relative to a given receiver as modified by geometry, finishes, or other technical data awareness the ability to perceive, feel, or be conscious of a condition, event, object or sensory pattern within the local environment binaural having or relating to two ears; as binocularity allows for determining depth in vision, binaural hearing allows for humans and other animals to perceive direction of sound origin. discourse social relation via communication of thought, including both spoken communication and written word hearing detection of sound


listening active attention or reaction to the meaning/emotions/symbolism of sound(s) learning the process of acquiring knowledge modern simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building; pertaining to the architectural movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. music auditory art using sound as medium - organizing pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and other sonic qualities. noise undesired or uninformed sound; noise is often noticed when blocking, distorting, or interfering with the transmission of a desired sound performance space (building type) a space where live art (including sound) is presented to an audience, which directly acknowledges the relationship between performer and audience phenomenology the study of structures of conscious experience, from the first-person point of view reflection the change in direction of a sound wave at the interface of two different media, i.e. air and wall surface, so that the wave returns to the medium from which it came

seeing detection of what is perceived by the eye sound mechanical wave that is an oscillation of (medium, usually air) pressure, with frequencies and amplitude within the human range of hearing soundscape the auditory equivalent of a landscape; a physical environment characterized by the sounds as well as the aural architecture of that environment; in a soundscape, the sounds themselves that are also important (versus aural architecture, where sound only serves to illuminate it) attributed to R. Murray Schafer. target sound desired sound source in listening viewing active attention or reaction to the meaning / emotions / symbolism of what is perceived by the eye visual parallels aural refers exclusively to the human perception and experience via the eye visual architecture properties of a space that can be experienced by viewing visual distraction a condition or process of visual preoccupation, and thereby diverted from full perceptive capacity of and within the local environment

reverberation persistence of sound in space after the source is removed; a reverb is created when a sound is produced in an enclosed space, causing a build up and slow decay of echoes, until all reflected sound energy is absorbed by walls and the air signal transmission of sound, as through an electric source 75


KEY PHYSICS: PERCEPTION pinna ear canal

freeway

eardrum earbones eustachian tube

mmercial

freeway light industry office/commercial cochlea

residential auditory nerve outer ear

middle ear

protected courtyard

hjighway

ential

hjighway

dustry

inner ear

p [Figure 65] Anatomical Diagram of the Ear The human ear detects vibrations, physical pressure changes that exist as sound waves in the air. The process of hearing involves translating these vibrations neurological impulses that can be perceived by the brain. (Adapted from Grueneisen, 53.)

 [Figure 67] eardrum The acoustic environment consistspinna of the sound source(s), transmission (via pressure wave) through a medium, and theear receiver. canal (Adapted from Grueneisen, earbones 46.) eustachian tube

acoustic shadow

acoustic arena

pinna ear canal

SOUND

acoustic shadow zone

visual boundary zone

unwanted background noise

cochlea auditory nerve

 [Figure 66] The acoustic arena, shaped by the sound itself and unwanted background noise.

What Blesser and Salter call the “acoustic arena” is the conceptual region which enables listeners to hear a sonic event or target sound. crawling optical Abstractly, an acoustic arena is a space acoustic itself, shapedand by the loudness shadows and direction of the object, as well as the background noise and spatial acoustics. The privacy of acoustic arenas ranges from social (a place for conversation) or personal (the iPod).

outer ear middle ear high frequency

inner ear

 [Figure 68] Head Shadow and Binaural Hearing. The two ears work cooperatively with the shape of the head in order to determine direction of sound. (Adapted from Grueneisen, 54.)

diffraction

diffraction

u [Figure 69] The range of speech within equal loudness contours. Typical consonant and vowel sounds are plotted according to their frequency versus sound pressure level.

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outer ear

middle ear

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outer ear

KEY PHYSICS: GEOMETRY

θ θ

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u [Figure 70] Examples of reflections from different surface geometry. (Diagrams above adapted from Grueneisen, 12.)

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spreading

focusing

diffusion

crawling

midd


dle ear

inner ear outer ear

middle ear

inner ear

acoustic shadow

pinna ear canal

na canal

acoustic shadow zone

shadows

visual boundary zone

acoustic shadow zone

visual boundary zone

u [Figure 71] The production of an acoustic shadow zone due to an obstruction. The shape of an acoustic shadow can change based on the frequency of the sound source due to crawling acoustic and optical refraction. (Adapted from Mehta, 40.)

acousticdiffraction and optical shadows

high frequency

high frequency

diffraction

acoustic shadow

low frequency

diffraction

low frequency

diffraction

eardrum earbones eardrum eustachian tube earbones eustachian tube

u [Figure 72] Effect of natural landform and built form in shielding or propagating sound. (Adapted from Grueneisen, 56.)cochlea cochlea auditory nerve auditory nerve

protected

protected courtyard courtyard

r middle middle ear ear innerinner ear ear

79

acoustic


KEY PHYSICS: SYSTEMS Good acoustics of any building starts with a good floor plan. A poor floor plan can lead to undesired noise transmission from mechanical and plumbing systems.

classroom

classroom

AHU Janitor

restroom plumbing classroom

Good floor plan

80

classroom

restroom

classroom


plumbing

classroom

restroom

classroom

AHU Janitor

AHU Janitor

troom

om

plumbing classroom

classroom

restroom

classroom

plumbing

Poor floor plan

81

4.8â&#x20AC;?

4.8â&#x20AC;?


KEY PHYSICS: CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS Typical floor constructions at increasing STC Ratings. (Adapted from Marin.)

Description 5“ reinforced concrete slab, exposed ceiling, vinyl floor finish

(above) with foam backed vinyl tile floor finish

Cross Section

STC/IIC 51/46

51/50

(above) with 1/4” carpet on underpadding

51/70

2.5” concrete over 12” open web steel joists 5/8” gypsum board ceiling, vinyl tile floor finish

57/45

6” reinforced concrete slab with “floated” 3” concrete slab on a 2” fiberglass mat

65/67

(above) with resiliently suspended 5/8 gypsum ceiling 8” below slab

STC 25

Normal speech heard easily

30

Loud speech heard easily

35

Loud speech heard, but not understood

42

Loud speech can be heard only as a murmur

45

Must strain to hear speech

48

Only some loud speech can be barely heard

52

Loud speech cannot be heard

incident sound

transmitted sound

reflected sound 75/70

acoustic mateiral

wall 82

STC Rating. an acronym for Sound Transmission Coefficient. The higher the STC, the lower amount of sound transmission. (Adapted from Marin.)


classroom

Typical wall constructions at increasing STC Ratings. (Adapted from Marin.)

4.8”

4.8”

5.4”

3.5”

3.5”

3.5”

STC 36

STC 40

STC 41

5.4”

3.5”

STC 43

6”

6”

11.3”

3.5”

3.5”

10.0”

10.0”

STC 44

STC 46

STC 59

STC 71

11.3”

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ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY Blesser, Barry, and Linda-Ruth Salter. Spaces Speak, Are You Listening?: Experiencing Aural Architecture. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2007. Print. Blesser and Salter provide an interdisciplinary perspective on language and aural architecture. This source establishes the concepts and language for aural architecture, describing in full account how sound, space, and society are considered with respect to the technical, aesthetic, and humanistic properties of space. Bull, Michael. “Auditory.” Sensorium. Ed. Caroline A. Jones. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2006. 112-114. Bull discusses portable audio-visual technology and how it has affected our sensorial experiences of the built environment. Byrne, David. “How Architecture Helped Music Evolve.” TED. Feb 2010. Video Lecture. 2011. <http://www.ted.com/talks/david_ byrne_how_architecture_helped_music_evolve.html>. David Byrne reveals how the creation process for music and architecture are tightly tied, and how music and architecture has always worked together/ Grueneisen, Peter. Soundspace: Architecture for Sound and Vision. Basel: Birkhäuser, 2003. Print. This compilation by studio bau:ton covers a wide range of material, from fundamental architectural acoustic to the firm’s own theoretical foundations for aural-visual design. It also looks at recent architectural developments in the music, film, and media industries. Heschong, Lisa. Thermal Delight in Architecture. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1990. Print. This source is discusses the sensuality of the thermal environment, and its potential as an expressive design element. Although not directly discussing the relationship of sound and space, the logic of the discussion sheds light on and offers a similar way of thinking about acoustics and hearing. Hobart, Michael and Zachary S. Schiffman, Information Ages: Literacy, Numeracy, and the Computer Revolution. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998). Print. Hobart and Schiffman cover the impact of and offer new ways of thinking about information technology in society throughout history, from the invention of writing to the first generation of computers. Holl, Steven, Juhani Pallasmaa, and Alberto Pérez-Gómez. Questions of Perception: Phenomenology of Architecture. San Francisco, CA: William Stout Pub., 2006. Print. This source explains the role of human sensuality and phenomenological experience in architecture. Holl’s essay is particularly relevant in terms of its separation of phenomenology by sense and stances of visual culture relative to architectural practice. LaBelle, Brandon. Acoustic Territories: Sound Culture and Everyday Life. New York: Continuum, 2010. Print. This source takes into account the sounds of contemporary and everyday urban space – from the underground, to the home and the street / neighborhood, and even aerial environments of a city. LaBelle discusses how the urban aural experience affects certain considerations, including spatial inhabitation and social relationships within a city. LaBelle, Brandon and Cláudia Martinho, eds. Site of Sound #2: Of Architecture and the Ear. Berlin: Errant Bodies, 2011. Print. This anthology addresses contemporary work within the intersection of sound and architecture, bringing together both research and writing that cover theoretical implications, while documenting recent projects founded upon the sonic-spatial relationship. Leitner, Bernhard. “Sound Spaces.” Daidalos 17 (Sept. 1985): 94-103. Print. Bernhard shares his theories of sound spaces, how they are created, and how they are perceived. 84


Lucian, Marin E. ANSI 12.60 for School Architects. Web. 08 Dec. 2011. <http://ansi1260.wordpress.com/>. This weblog provides information and visual representations for architectural acoustics, especially in spaces for learning. Mehta, Madan, James Johnson, and Jorge Rocafort. Architectural Acoustics: Principles and Design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999. Print. This source covers the important issues of architectural acoustics. Acoustical theory is explained and paired with practical applications worldwide. The reference covers an extensive range of information, from acoustical phenomena to in-depth mathematical relationships. Schafer, R. Murray. The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World. Rochester, VT: Destiny, 1993. Print. This book explores the acoustic environment in which we live, and how it has changed throughout history (and potentially in the future). He talks about sound and noise in both rural and urban conditions, and how sound can be help to create healthier and more distinct environments. Sheridan, Ted, and Karen Van Lengen. “Hearing Architecture: Exploring and Designing the Aural Environment.” Journal of Architectural Education 57.2 (Nov. 2003): 37-44. Web. These two professors discuss from both a professional and pedagogical points of view the importance of designing the aural environment. Besides covering historical precedents of aural architecture, the article also documents an experimental design studio offered by Van Lengen at University of Virginia, which asked students to consider the acoustical space in architecture. Thompson, Emily Ann. The Soundscape of Modernity: Architectural Acoustics and the Culture of Listening in America, 1900-1933. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 2004. Print. This source recounts the story of acoustics in the modern world, and how the relationship between sound and space changed with the development of the American city in the early 20th century. She covers sound’s relationship with modernity – including utopianism, cultural issues, noise abatement, and the introduction of electronics. Thompson, Emily Ann. “The Soundscape of Modernity.” MIT World. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. 26 Sept 2002. Lecture. http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/19 Thompson presents her research (previous source) at MIT and engages in a discussion with students about the reality of space in music. This conversation covers technological mediations, sensibility, cultural issues, and other factors which contributed to a change in the way people listened to space and sound during the early 20th century. Van Lengen, Karen, and Joel Sanders. “Re-envisioning Audio Techno Culture: Synthesis of Design and Technology in Support of Communicative Architectures.” The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge & Society 6.6 (2010). Print. Van Lengen and Joel Sanders advocate for audio-visual design in light of today’s sense-occupying technological trends. In the article they discuss the intentions of Mix House and Sound Lounge, two projects which utilize the soundscape to react to these contemporary technologies. Vitruvius, Pollio, Ingrid D. Rowland, and Thomas Noble. Howe. Ten Books on Architecture. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007. Print. This translation of Vitruvius most directly provides an illustrated commentary on the classical orders of architecture; however, the source potentially may offer new ways of thinking about the sensual perception of space, and the role of the architect from the Renaissance to the present.

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IMAGE CREDIT By Figure number. 1. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Frame from Get Smart. Digital Image reproduced by Gwen Darling, Healthcare Informatics. Prehistoric fire, drawing. Posted Digitally by Ruby Carat in The New Fire, 15 July 2011 <http://coldfusionnow.wordpress.com/2011/07/15/the-new-fire/> Theater Epidaurus, plan. Digital Image. < http://www.whitman.edu/theatre/theatretour/epidaurus/epidaurus.htm> Theater Epidaurus, Photograph by Danielle Lazarakis. Digital Image from Kapnizete? Weblog. Roman listening horns. Athanasius Kircher SJ - ‘Musurgia Universalis’, 1650. Online at the University of Strasbourg. Digital Image from BibliOdyssey. 7. Roman Museum speaking statue illusion. Athanasius Kircher SJ - ‘Musurgia Universalis’, 1650. Online at the University of Strasbourg. Digital Image from BibliOdyssey.. 9. The Cistercian Abbey of Le Thoronet, photo by Mario Maestri. 21 Sept 2009. <http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/vGmuzlekDXaoiPM1EkmZnA> 10. St. Mark’s (Venice), Section Fig 797. James Fergusson: Illustrated Handbook of Architecture, p 964. Taj Mahal, section. Item ID#26934, Arts of India, Columbia University Public Portfolio. 11. La Scala, plan. Piermarini, Giuseppe. Digital Image by Art and Architecture. Conway Collections. <artandarchitecture.org.uk> 12. Carnegie Hall, section. Digital Image by Playbill Arts. 1 May 2003. 14. Symphony Hall, section. McKim, Charles. 1895. Digital Image from Acoustics Lecture #1, Sutton Studio Inc. Telephone booth, Print. Digital Image. <http://thephonebooth.com/> 15. Advertisement for the Aeolian Vocalion Phonograph, New York Times. 21 February 1915, p5. 16. Home Radio, photo by FPG/Taxi/Getty Images. <http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/radio-show.htm> Cockpit view, photo by Adrian Gable. “2008 Toyota Prius Touring Edition Test Drive.” 17. Radio City Music Hall, photo. Digital Image. <http://www.visitingdc.com/new-york/radio-city-music-hall-address.asp> 18. Beatles at Shea, photo by Farrell/News. 15 Aug 1965. “Beatles punch ticket to ride for Shea Stadium Rock.” 20 Sept 2008. 19. iPod Touch, photo. Digital Image. 12 March 2008, <tichou.eu/TiChouStyle/tag/ipod/> 21. Early Perspective tools, drawing. Digital Image.<http://figuresandtheses.tumblr.com/> 22. Casa del Fascio, Photograph. Digital Reproduction. < http://mattermedia.tumblr.com> 24. Solomon R. Guggehnheim, Section. Digital Image. < http://www.greatbuildings.com> 25-28. All photographs of The Philips Pavilion taken from VEP: The Poeme event. <http://www.edu.vrmmp.it/vep/event.html> 29-31. Philips Pavilion, Digital Images of drawings, taken from Proyectos Arquitectonicos ETSAG_UAH. 32. “The Enraged Musician,” William Hogarth 1741. (noise of eighteenth century city street) 33. Cartoon, from New Yorker. By Bruce Eric Kaplan. Digital Image, <condenaststore.com> 38-41. All images of Mix House taken from Van Lengen, Karen, and Joel Sanders. “Re-envisioning Audio Techno Culture: Synthesis of Design and Technology in Support of Communicative Architectures.” The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge & Society 6.6 (2010). 44-51. Images of Sound Lounge taken from Joel Sanders’ website. <http://www.joelsandersarchitect.com/jsa.html> 63. Digital Images / screenshots of Pachyderm taken from Pachyderm user blog <http://www.perspectivesketch.com/pachyderm/> Digital Images / screenshots of BAAT taken from user blog <http://www.atelierbinturong.com/2011/05/acoustics-for-grasshopperrhino.html>

70.

Qualcomm Building N Theater, photo by TKJ Structural Engineering. <http://www.tkjse.com/projects.php> Denge Acoustic Mirrors, photo by “Seven.” Dec 2008. <http://obviousmag.org/en/archives/2008/12/the_denge_acoustic_mirrors.html> Melk Abbey, photo by Leonor. Digital Image. www.mamuco.com Grand Central Station Whispering Gallery. Digital Image. <http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-photo/thesullivans/1/1289600593/whispering-gallery. jpg/tpod.html> Pages 62-65. Diagrams and tables adapted from imagery used at Lucian, Marin E. ANSI 12.60 for School Architects. Web. 08 Dec. 2011. <http://ansi1260.wordpress.com/>.

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Building The Soundscape in the Age of Visual Distraction  

Thesis Book submitted for Bachelor of Architecture at Syracuse University. 2012.

Building The Soundscape in the Age of Visual Distraction  

Thesis Book submitted for Bachelor of Architecture at Syracuse University. 2012.

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