Posted in Critique, Report

A soundscape remodelled

Urban square Nauener Platz in Berlin was recently remodelled and reconstructed by urban planners and acousticians in order to improve its ambiance – with special regard to its sonic properties. One of the outcomes of this project is a middle-sized noise barrier (gabion wall) reducing the crossroads’ traffic noise on the playground by 3 dB.

Nauener Platz playground with noise barrierNauener Platz playground with noise barrier (gabion wall)

Following a distinct ›soundscape approach‹, acoustician Prof. Dr. Brigitte Schulte-Fortkamp and her colleagues at Technische Universität Berlin not only took measurements and calculated noise contour maps. They also conducted ›soundwalks‹ and even invited local residents to participate in the planning process. In the end, local residents required more pleasant sounds at Nauener Platz.

Sound devices installed on Nauener Platz

In respondance, several ›audio islands‹ were installed: today’s visitors of Nauener Platz are supposed to sit down on ›ear benches‹ with integrated speakers to listen to ocean surf or birdsong (sound devices by Barbara Willecke, sound files by Konstantin Dudel). Continue reading “A soundscape remodelled”

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Posted in Presentation

Drawing the soundscape

Experimental sketch on the socio-cultural dimensions of the soundscape (detail)Experimental sketch on the socio-cultural aspects of the soundscape (detail; comprised in my master thesis on the soundscape as a field for cultural-anthropological research, p. 102)
 

›Close observation of a single subject, whether it is as tiny as Pasteur’s microbes or as great as Einstein’s universe, is the kind of work that happens less and less these days. Glued to computer and TV screens, we have forgotten how to look at the natural world, the original instructor on how to be curious about detail.‹ (Jennifer New)

Or, in other words: ›… reality is often stranger and more fascinating than anything we can make up.‹ (Jonathan Sterne)

I presented my master thesis at The Global Composition conference. An abstract is available here.

Jennifer New (2005): Drawing from life, Princeton architectural press, p. 20.

Sterne, Jonathan (2005): The Audible Past. Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction. Durham: Duke Univ. Press, p. 338.