From noise control to sound design: the class room as a soundscape project

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As part of an overall campus building project, the Department of Architecture in Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland moved to provisional premises in autumn 2011, in a city centre former warehouse, dating from 1875. While this building is a fine example of historic industrial architecture which was previously used successfully as a museum, as a school venue it is “acoustically seen” inappropriate. The studios are more halls rather than rooms and have an approx. height of 5 meters; two classes share one unit and are subdivided by screens, with lectures and tutorials needing to be scheduled at different times in order to avoid (acoustic) clashes. Most surfaces are hard, and in some cases, the class units are even exposed to open galleries and circulation areas. How can the noise problem be transformed into a soundscape project? How can the current situation be used to develop sound as a design tool that informs the awareness about sound phenomena, strengthen the understanding of sound mitigation and instill the confidence to design it? This paper investigates different approaches as to how to introduce sound as a design tool in early architectural education and summarizes the learning outcomes from using the class room as a sound design lab.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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