What is soundscape design?

Sound environment

Since Francis Ford Coppola’s pioneering Apocalypse Now (1979), conscious sound structuring has been an unavoidable part of action films or great film narratives, such as The English Patient, for which sound editor and director Walter Murch received two Oscars.

Sound then sometimes becomes, as in the classic Blade Runner, an invisible story and actor, which not only fascinates moviegoers, but also influences the thinking of urban researchers about our future environment. Sound structuring then generates a new soundscape, long before it enters reality.

Entorno sonoro musical

Se desarrolla un análisis que integra el enfoque objetivo de la acústica con el enfoque subjetivo del concepto de paisaje sonoro. A través de una metodología cuantitativa-cualitativa, se analiza el sonido en sí mismo, así como la valoración de los sujetos que lo perciben, situados en un determinado contexto ambiental, social y cultural. El objeto de estudio elegido es la Plaza Urquiza de Tucumán, Argentina, de valor patrimonial histórico, donde se desarrollan tradicionalmente actividades de ocio. La metodología implica el estudio de las condiciones físicas, los niveles de presión sonora, la ubicación y la estructura temporal de las fuentes sonoras. Luego, para conocer la percepción y la valoración del paisaje sonoro, propone la realización de entrevistas y encuestas cuyos datos son procesados por la estadística descriptiva y el método de comparación constante. La investigación desarrolla una metodología factible de aplicar para el estudio del paisaje sonoro y permite concebir recomendaciones de diseño para mejorar la calidad acústica de este espacio público y otros similares.

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Paisaje sonoro murray schafer

Augusta McMahon, A. (2013) ‘Espacio, sonido y luz: Toward a Sensory Experience of Ancient Monumental Architecture’, American Journal of Archaeology. Archaeological Institute of America, 117(2), p. 163. https://doi.org/10.3764/aja.117.2.0163

Liikkanen, L. A. y Perttula, M. (2010) “Inspiring design idea generation: insights from a memory-search perspective”, Journal of Engineering Design. Taylor & Francis , 21(5), pp. 545-560. https://doi.org/10.1080/09544820802353297

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Sio, U. N., Kotovsky, K. y Cagan, J. (2015) “¿Fijación o inspiración? A meta-analytic review of the role of examples on design processes’, Design Studies. Elsevier, 39, pp. 70-99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.destud.2015.04.004

Vasconcelos, L. A. y Crilly, N. (2016) ‘Inspiración y fijación: Preguntas, métodos, hallazgos y desafíos’, Design Studies. Elsevier, 42, pp. 1-32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.destud.2015.11.001

Types of soundscape

As a more particular instance of space, the notion of “territory” is a constantly redefining concept that involves a triple dimension: juridical, symbolic and economic. Nevertheless, we find links with the Aristotelian idea of “place” (topos) characterized by understanding space as a concrete and empirical container, defined and articulated with a subject. It is therefore the complexity of relationships involved, which validates the use of territory as an appropriate category to analyze a space with a wealth of tensions such as the San Nicolás neighborhood.

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The use of territory as a historical process of appropriation of a space endowed with natural resources that form unique ecosystems that determine particular forms of use and economic-productive structures. On this basis, sociodemographic networks, institutional networks and particular economies are built. The processes of territorial construction establish a tradition and a culture on which an identity and territoriality are based12.