by Mandy Kachur


NYT Article - Dear Architects: Sound Matters The character and feel of a space has more to do with just how it looks.  How it sounds either enhances or diminishes an occupant’s experience.  Michael Kimmelman in the New York Times on December 29, 2015, published an interactive article, Dear Architects: Sound Matters, that demonstrates this for various spaces and is worth a read and listen. Read it here


This quote from the article hits home for me:



Sound may be invisible or only unconsciously perceived, but that doesn’t make it any less an architectural material than wood, glass, concrete, stone or light.  


Aural architecture can be designed to emphasize various functions of a space: connectedness, relaxation, liveliness, sereneness, privacy, solemnity.  It encourages behaviors and states of being: active, socializing, quiet, awe.  When the soundscape is in conflict with the purpose of the space, it can create tension, frustration, and isolation.  Harmony is only achieved when the visual and aural architecture reinforce each other to support the function of the space.  All building owners and occupants deserve a design that symbiotically pairs the two.