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Sound and Space in Urban Settings

Project Description

While Crossing a London Square, there are a number of views that you can experience. A London square-park has been chosen in order to experiment the experience of vision while you are passing through it.The square which has been chosen is surrounded by a number of features. These are the River, the Oxo Tower, The Gabriel’s Wharf and the Upper Ground Street. All these parts are connected each other through different routes. These routes create different spaces and each one has different characteristics. The first thing that you can observe while you are crossing the different routes is how the views of the different features change. Openness and closeness of spaces, dark and light views are some of the main characteristics that you can experience while you are walking in a city block. Photographs have been taken from each route to make the analysis of the views easy. This will enable the analysis of the openness and the closeness of each route point, among other differences.

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Other characteristics that change while you are crossing the routes of the park

As the views of the features in the different routes change, the natural sounds heard from different routes are also changing. These sounds are sounds such as the sound of the wind and the rain, sounds which were appeared during the industrial revolution such sounds as that are caused by steam engine, Sirens, Airplane Motors and Typewriters. The sounds are everyday-life sounds which we often take for granted. One thing we should realize is that sound is a very important part of our everyday life, and that it has the same importance as the sense of vision.

There are spaces in the park which are enclosed and surrounded by trees, where you feel the privacy and the sound gets more mysterious.On the other hand the sounds get different when you approach the Thames Path where many people talking each other and kids are playing.Additionally, on the other side of the square, the noise that I can hear is produced by the cars and the cranes. It is therefore important to note that the sound heard from the park is from very different sources, and therefore, it has different characteristics.

Factors make sound different while passing from one area to another

Every city has its own sound and this depends on the Buildings, Trees, Streets and People. The sound also depends on the kind of activities being carried out in the city, the nature of traffic in the city, and many other factors like the proximity of industries from the city.

While passing from one area to another, sound differs depending on the kind of activities being carried out in each of the areas. The sound will also differ due to presence of buildings that may block sound that is emanating from other areas.

Relationship between the sound and the space

The sound in different areas is different mostly due to the space factor. That is, if an area is surrounded by buildings, it will seem to preserve the sounds coming from within. On the other hand, an open area will have a mixture of sounds from within and even from far.

Proposal Description

The objective of the project is to elaborate how several objects can ‘’produce’’ several sounds depending on their scale, geometry and material, and how people can interact with them in order to produce a sound.This can be achieved by creating a sound wall which consists of several objects.This wall is made of different objects, each of which has a different size, geometry and is made of different materials.

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People can hit the object and talk in the interior space of the objects and the object can talk back to them in order to have the sound experience of each object.

How does this happen?

Inside each box there is a recorder which records the voice of the person and whatever else the person does with the object. Such actions could be hitting the object, or even scratching it. A person talks to the object, and when he moves the object the object talks back to him. This is achieved by creating a serial communication between Processing and Arduino. The recording starts when a person approaches the object and stops when a person fends of the object. This is achieved by the use of ultrasound sensor which is connected with Arduino board. The recording plays when people rotate the box upside-down and this is achieved by the use of tilt sensor which is connected with the Arduino board. The process of the recording is achieved by the use of the processing.

The sound depends on the people voice pitch and on the objects characteristics such the material, geometry and scale. The sounds travel in the space between the material and the room where the wall has been designed in. The sound that plays after the recording is a result of the object properties, but it is also as a result of the space where the objects are located. By placing several speakers in the room all the sounds are blended, and this sound is produced both by the objects and the people who are in the space. The space is transformed in a multisensory experience for the people who visit and people’s interaction plays an important role of creating the different sounds.

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