Of all the aural experiences in our day to day life, music is without a doubt the most utilized. In both public and commercial spaces music is used with two main purposes in mind: to mask underlying noise and to create atmosphere. Many times, however, the effect is the opposite. Firstly, the music is often played at such a high level that we become aware of its presence, and secondly, the cultural implications will surely include some but undoubtedly also exclude many others.
Despite this, the fact that people still experience well-being tells us a lot about the importance of respecting the ambience and acoustic qualities of our immediate surroundings. And just as the architect uses the human body as a starting point, the foundations for acoustic design are twofold: the human voice and the human ear.
Audiotechture's way of working with acoustic design is based on these four factors:
1 Respect for the human ear and the human voice.
2 Awareness of what different sounds and sonic textures symbolizes.
3 An understanding of the natural rhythms that a certain environment contain.
4 An understanding of the delicate balance in the mechanisms between elements that in certain situations may appear irrational and chaotic.
In designing sounds and acoustic backdrops it is important to take care of the benefits and senses of well-being one can predict in a certain space. This should be a natural part of the architectural design, and our prediction is that this will be in demand in the same way interior design and be at least as important for the overall character and functionality of a building in the future.
Our starting point for creating well thought out acoustic spaces and sonic textures that will be perceived as positive is based on some fundamental assumptions:
1 The environment will have a positive effect on those who are in it.
2 The sounds contained in an aurally transparent environment should be free from elements that can be traced to specific cultural expressions or style.
3 The nature of the acoustic profile should be dynamic and organic.
4 The sound level should be immediately below the level of attention and immediately above the latent sound level given by fan systems and the like.
5 When certain sound element puposely exceeds the level of attention they should be functional or have an interactive relationship with people in the environment.
6 The acoustic environment, as a whole or in parts, has to be in an interactive relationship with the people in it.
7 It should be possible to change or transform the acoustic environment over time to avoid aural fatigue.