Designing for Noise ~ we architects need to use our ears

designing for noiseAs Queen’s 1980s song, Radio Ga Ga, laments, “we hardly need to use our ears“.  Actually, we abuse our ears or, at the very least, ignore the abuse that others heap upon them.

Unfortunately, while we are easily able to close our eyes, nature hasn’t equipped us with lids to effectively shut our ears.

But what does architecture and design have to do with all this?

Usually, unless an architect is designing something with an overt acoustic requirement like, say, an auditorium or a recording studio, only visual aesthetics are considered.  However, as Julian Treasure points out in this TED talk, the auditory aspect is more crucial than we realise.

He illustrates just how detrimental the effects of noise can be, not only in special environments like hospitals or schools, but in homes and offices as well.  For myself–even though I’m quite aware of the debilitating effects of loud noise–the talk was quite an eye-opener.

See the video on TED | Why architects need to use their ears

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