《愛墾網》馬來西亞-台灣墾友於2014年7月23~26日,四天三夜遊走沙巴內陸市鎮丹南(Tenom)。最難忘的,除了陳明發博士、劉富威和張文傑三人的麓夢悠神秘巨石圖騰(Lumuyu Rock Carvings)探險外,要算是丹南—Halogilat鐵路之旅了。最難得的是,這次鐵路遊得到Ken李敬傑、李敬豪兄弟的安排,請到服務沙巴鐵路局34年的蘇少基先生前丹南火車站站長一道同遊。

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Comment by 陳老頭 on March 30, 2024 at 5:26pm

Introduction

We are visually dominant creatures (Hutmacher, 2019; Levin, 1993; Posner,Nissen, & Klein,1976).
That is, we all mostly tend to think, reason, and imagine visually.

As Finnish architect Pallasmaa (1996) noted almost a quarter of a century ago in his influential work The eyes of the skin: Architecture and the Senses, architects have traditionally been no different in this regard, designing primarily for the eye of the beholder (Bille & Sørensen, 2018; Pallasmaa, 1996, 2011; Rybczynski, 2001; Williams, 1980).

Elsewhere, Pallasmaa (1994, p. 29) writes that: “Thearchitectureofour time is turning into the retinal art of the eye. Architecture at large has become an art of the printed image fixed by the hurried eye of the camera.”

The famous Swiss architect Le Corbusier (1991, p. 83) went even further in terms of his unapologetically oculocentric outlook, writing that: “Iexist in life only if I can see”, going on to state that: “IamandI remain an impenitent visual—everything is in the visual” and “one needs to see clearly in order to understand”.

Commenting on the current situation, Canadian designer Bruce Mau put it thus: “We have allowed two of our sensory domains—sight and sound—to dominate our design imagination. In fact, when it comes to the culture of architecture and design, we create and produce almost exclusively for one sense—the visual.” (Mau, 2018, p. 20; see also Blesser & Salter, 2007).

Such visual dominance makes sense or, at the very least, can be explained or accounted for neuroscientifi cally (Hutmacher, 2019; Meijer, Veselič, Calafiore, & Noppeney, 2019). After all, it turns out that far more of our brains are given over to the processing of what we see than to dealing with the information from any of our other senses (Gallace, Ngo, Sulaitis, & Spence, 2012).

For instance, according to Felleman and Van Essen (1991), more than half of the cortex is engaged in the processing of visual information (see also Eberhard, 2007, p. 49; Palmer, 1999, p. 24; though note that others believe that the figure is closer to one third). This figure compares to something like just 12% of the cortex primarily dedicated to touch, around 3% to hearing, and less than 1% given over to the processing of the chemical senses of smell and taste Information 1.


1 It is, though, worth highlighting the fact that the denigration of the sense of smell in humans, something that is, for example, also found in older volumes on advertising (Lucas & Britt, 1950), turns out to be based on somewhat questionable foundations.


For, as noted by McGann (2017) in the pages of Science, the downplaying of olfaction can actually be traced back to early French neuroanatomist Paul Broca wanting to make more space in the frontal parts of the brain (i.e., the frontal lobes) for free will in the 1880s. In order to do so, he apparently needed to reduce the size of the olfactory cortex accordingly. theoris ts such as Zimmerman (1989) arrived at a similar hierarchy, albeit with a somewhat different weighting for each of the five main senses.

In particular, Zimmermann estimated a channel capacity (in bits/s) of 107 for vision, 106 for touch, 105 for hearing and olfaction, and 103 for taste (gustation).

Comment by 陳老頭 on March 29, 2024 at 3:20pm

Figure 1 schematically illustrates the hierarchy of attentional capture by each of the senses as envisioned by Morton Heilig, the inventor of the Sensorama, the world’s first multisensory virtual reality apparatus (Hei lig, 1962), when writing about the multisensory future of cinema in an article first published in 1955 (see Heilig, 1992).

Nevertheless, while commentators from many different disciplines would seem to agree on vision’s current pre-eminence, one cannot help but wonder what has been lost as a result of the visual dominance that one sees wherever one looks in the world of architecture (“see” and “look” being especially apposite terms here). While the hegemony of the visual (see Levin, 1993) is a phenomenon that appears across most aspects of our daily lives, the very ubiquity of this phenomenon cer tainly does not mean that the dominance of the visual should not be questioned (e.g., Dunn, 2017; Hutmacher, 2019).

For, as Finnish architect and theoretician Pallas maa (2011, p. 595) notes: “Spaces, places, and buildings are undoubtedly encountered as multisensory lived experiences. Instead of registering architecture merely as visual images, we scan our settings by the ears, skin, nose, and tongue.”

Elsewhere, he writes that: “Architecture is the art of reconciliation between ourselves and the world, and this mediation takes place through the senses” (Pallasmaa, 1996, p. 50; see also Böhme, 2013). We will return later to question the visual dominance

account, highlighting how our experience of space, as of anything else, is much more multisensory than most people realize. Review outline While architectural practice has traditionally been domi nated by the eye/sight, a growing number of architects and designers have, in recent decades, started to con sider the role played by the other senses, namely sound, touch (including proprioception, kinesthesis, and the vestibular sense), smell, and, on rare occasions, even taste.

It is, then, clearly important that we move beyond the merely visual (not to mention modular) focus in architecture that has been identified in the writings of Juhani Pallasmaa and others, to consider the contribu tion that is made by each of the other senses (e.g., Eber hard, 2007; Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004). Reviewing this literature constitutes the subject matter of the next sec tion.

However, beyond that, it is also crucial to consider the ways in which the senses interact too. As will be stressed later, to date there has been relatively little recognition of the growing understanding of the multisen sory nature of the human mind that has emerged from the field of cognitive neuroscience research in recent de cades (e.g., Calvert, Spence, & Stein, 2004; Stein, 2012).

The principal aim of this review is therefore to provide a summary of the role of the human senses in architec tural design practice, both when considered individually and, more importantly, when the senses are studied col lectively.

For it is only by recognizing the fundamentally multisensory nature of perception that one can really hope to explain a number of surprising crossmodal environ mental or atmospheric interactions, such as between light ing colour and thermal comfort (Spence, 2020a) or between sound and the perceived safety of public spaces (Sayin, Krishna, Ardelet, Decré, & Goudey, 2015), that have been reported in recent years.

Comment by 陳老頭 on March 28, 2024 at 4:48am

At the same time, however, this review also highlights how the contemporary focus on synaesthetic design in architecture (see Pérez-Gómez, 2016) needs to be reframed in terms of the crossmodal correspondences (see Spence, 2011, for a review), at least if the most is to be made of multisensory interactions and synergies that affect us all. Later, I want to highlight how accounts of multisensory interactions in architecture in terms of synaesthesia tend to confuse matters, rather than to clarify them.

Accounting for our growing understanding of crossmodal interactions (specifically the emerging field of crossmodal correspondences research) and multisen sory integration will help to explain how it is that our senses conjointly contribute to delivering our multisen sory (and not just visual) experience of space. One other important issue that will be discussed later is the role played by our awareness of the multisensory atmosphere of the indoor environments in which we spend so much of our time.

Looking to the future, the hope is that architectural design practice will increasingly incorporate our growing understanding of the human senses, and how they influence one another. Such a multisensory approach will hopefully lead to the development of buildings and urban spaces that do a better job of promoting our so cial, cognitive, and emotional development, rather than hindering it, as has too often been the case previously.

Before going any further, though, it is worth highlighting a number of the negative outcomes for our well-being that have been linked to the sensory aspects of the environments in which we spend so much of our time.

Negative health consequences of neglecting multisensory stimulation

It has been suggested that the rise in sick building syndrome (SBS) in recent decades (Love, 2018) can be put down to neglect of the olfactory aspect of the interior environments where city dwellers have been estimated to spend 95% of their lives (e.g., Ott & Roberts, 1998; Velux YouGov Report, 2018; Wargocki, 2001).

Indeed, as of 2010, more people around the globe lived in cities than lived in rural areas (see UN-Habitat, 2010 and United Nations Department of Economic and Social Af fairs, 2018).

One might also be tempted to ask what responsibility, if any, architects bear for the high incidence of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that has been documented in northern latitudes (Cox, 2017; Heerwagen, 1990; Rosenthal, 2019; Rosenthal et al., 1984).

To give a sense of the problem of “light hunger” (as Heerwagen, 1990, refers to it), Terman (1989) claimed that as many as 2 million people in Manhattan alone experience seasonal affective and behavioural changes severe enough to require some form of additional light stimulation during the winter months.

According to Pallasmaa (1994, p. 34), Luis Barragán, the self-taught Mexican architect famed for his geometric use of bright colour (Gregory, 2016) felt that most contemporary houses would be more pleasant with only half their window surface.

编註:联觉(英语:Synesthesia),又译为共感觉、通感或联感,是一种感觉现象,指其中一种感觉或认知途径的刺激,导致第二种感觉或认知途径的非自愿经历。 联觉感知的意识因人而异。 在一种普遍的联觉形式中,被称为“字位→颜色联觉”或“颜色-字素联觉”,当中字母及数字被认为具固有颜色。

Comment by 陳老頭 on March 21, 2024 at 6:50am

However, while such a suggestion might well be appropriate in Mexico, where Barragán’s work is to be found, many of us (especially those living in northern latitudes in the dark winter months) need as much natural light as we can obtain to maintain our psychological well-being. That said, Barragán is not alone in his appreciation of darkness and shadow. Some years ago, Japanese writer Junichirō Tanizaki also praised the aesthetic appeal of shadow and dark ness inthenativearchitectureof hishomecountry in his extended essay on aesthetics, In praise of shadows (Tanizaki, 2001).

One of the problems with the extensive use of win dows in northern climates is related to poor heat reten tion, an issue that is becoming all the more prominent in the era of sustainable design and global warming. One solution to this particular problem that has been put for ward by a number of technology-minded researchers is simply to replace windows by the use of large screens that relay a view of nature for those who, for whatever reason, have to work in windowless offices (Kahn Jr. et al., 2008).

However, the limited research that has been conducted on this topic to date suggests that the benefi cial effects of being seated near to the window in an of fice building cannot easily be captured by seating workers next to such video-screens instead. Similarly, the failure to fully consider the auditory as pects of architectural design may help to explain some part of the global health crisis associated with noise pol lution interfering with our sleep, health, and well-being (Owen, 2019).

The neglect of architecture’s fundamental role in helping to maintain our well-being is a central theme in Pérez-Gómez’s (2016) influential book Attunement: Architectural meaning after the crisis of modern science. Pérez-Gómez is the director of the History and Theory of Architecture Program at McGill University in Canada. Along similar lines, geographer J. Douglas Por teous had already noted some years earlier that: “Not withstanding the holistic nature of environmental experience, few researchers have attempted to interpret it in a very holistic [or multisensory] manner.” (Porteous, 1990, p. 201).

Finally, here, it is perhaps also worth noting that there are even some researchers who have wanted to make a connection between the global obesity crisis and the obesogenic environments that so many of us inhabit (Lieberman, 2006). The poor diet of multisensory stimulation that we experience living a primary in door life has also been linked to the growing sleep crisis apparently facing so many people in society today (Walker, 2018).

Designing for the modular mind Researchers working in the field of environmental psychology have long stressed the impact that the sensory features of the built environment have on us (e.g., Mehrabian & Russell, 1974, for an influential early volume detailing this approach).

Comment by 陳老頭 on March 18, 2024 at 9:29pm

Indeed, many years ago, the famous modernist Swiss architect Le Corbusier (1948) made the intriguing suggestion that architectural forms “work physiologically upon our senses.” Inspired by early work with the semantic differential technique, researchers would often attempt to assess the approach avoidance, active-passive, and dominant-submissive qualities of a building or urban space. This approach was based on the pleasure, arousal, and dominance (PAD) model that has long been dominant in the field. However, it is important to stress that in much of their research, the environmental psychologists took a separ ate sense-by-sense approach (e.g., Zardini, 2005).

The majority of researchers have tended to focus their empirical investigations on studying the impact of changing the stimulation presented to just one sense at a time. More often than not, in fact, they would focus on a single sensory attribute, such as, for example, investi gating the consequences of changing the colour (hue) of the lighting or walls (e.g., Bellizzi, et al., 1983; Bellizzi & Hite, 1992; Costa, Frumento, Nese, & Predieri, 2018; Crowley, 1993), or else just modulating the brightness of the ambient lighting (e.g., Gal, Wheeler, & Shiv, 2007; Xu & LaBroo, 2014).

Such a unisensory (and, in some cases, unidimensional) approach undoubtedly makes sense inasmuch as it may help to simplify the problem of studying how design affects us (Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004). What is more, such an approach is also entirely in tune with the modular approach to mind that was so popular in the fields of psychology and cognitive neuro science in the closing decades of the twentieth century (e.g., Barlow & Mollon, 1982; Fodor, 1983). At the same time, however, it can be argued that this sense-by-sense approach neglects the fundamentally multisensory na ture of mind, and the many interactions that have been shown to take place between the senses.

The visually dominant approach to research in the field of environmental psychology also means that far less attention has been given over to studying the impact of the auditory (e.g., Blesser & Salter, 2007; Kang et al., 2016; Schafer, 1977; Southworth, 1969; Thompson, 1999), tactile, somatosensory or embodied (e.g., Heschong, 1979; Pallasmaa, 1996; Pérez-Gómez, 2016), or even the olfactory qualities of the built environment (e.g., Bucknell, 2018; Drobnick, 2002, 2005; Henshaw, McLean, Medway, Perkins, & Warnaby, 2018) than on the impact of the visual. Furthermore, until very re cently, little consideration has been given by the envir onmental psychologists to the question of how the senses interact, one with another, in terms of their influ ence on an individual.

This neglect is particularly striking given that the natural environment, the built environment, and the atmosphere of a space are nothing if not multisensory (e.g., Bille & Sørensen, 2018). In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that our response to the environments, in which we find ourselves, be they built or natural, is always going to be the result of the combined influence of all the senses that are being stimulated, no matter whether we are aware of their influence or not (this is a point to which we will return later).

Comment by 陳老頭 on March 13, 2024 at 10:06pm

Given that those of us living in urban environments, which as we have seen is now the majority of us, spend more than 95% of our lives indoors (Ott & Roberts, 1998), architects would therefore seem to bear at least some responsibility for ensuring that the multisensory attributes of the built environment work together to de liver an experience that positively stimulates the senses, and, by so doing, facilitates our well-being, rather than hinders it (see also Pérez-Gómez, 2016, on this theme).

Crucially, however, a growing body of cognitive neuro science research now demonstrates that while we are often unaware of, or at least pay little conscious attention to the subtle sensory cues that may be conveyed by a space (e.g., Forster & Spence, 2018), that certainly does not mean that they do not affect us.

In fact, the sensory qualities or attributes of the environment have long been known to affect our health and well-being in environments as diverse as the hospital and the home, and from the office to the gym (e.g., Spence, 2002, 2003, 2021; Spence & Keller, 2019). What is more, according to the research that has been published to date, environmental multisensory stimulation can potentially affect us at the social, emotional, and cognitive levels.

It can be argued, therefore, that we all need to pay rather more attention to our senses and the way in which they are being stimulated than we do at present (see also Pérez-Gómez, 2016, on this theme). You can call it a mindful approach to the senses (Kabat-Zinn, 2005),2 though my preferred terminology, coined in an industry report published almost 20years ago, is “sensism” (see Spence, 2002).

Sensism provides a key to greater well being by considering the senses holistically, as well as how they interact, and incorporating that understanding into our everyday lives. The approach also builds on the growing evidence of the nature effect (Williams, 2017) and the fact that we appear to benefit from, not to men tion actually desire, the kinds of environments in which our species evolved.

As support for the latter claim, consider only how it has recently emerged that most people set their central heating to a fairly uniform 17–23°C, meaning that the average indoor temperature and humidity most closely matches the mild outdoor conditions of west central Kenya or the Ethiopian highlands (i.e., the place where human life is first thought to have evolved), better than anywhere else (Just, Nichols, & Dunn, 2019; Whipple, 2019).

Architectural design for each of the senses It is certainly not the case that architects have uniformly ignored the non-visual senses (e.g., see Howes, 2005, 2014; McLuhan, 1961; Pallasmaa, 1994, 2011; Ragaven dira, 2017).

For instance, in their 2004 book on Sensory design, Malnar and Vodvarka talk about challenging
visual dominance in architectural design practice by giving a more equal weighting to all of the senses (Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004; see also Mau, 2019). 

2 Or, as Tuan (1977, p. 18) once put it: “an object or place achieves concrete reality when our experience of it is total, that is, through all the senses as well as with the active and reflective mind” a more equal weighting to all of the senses (Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004; see also Mau, 2019).

Comment by 陳老頭 on March 10, 2024 at 10:34am

Meanwhile, Howes (2014) writes of the sensory monotony of the bungalow filled suburbs and of the corporeal experience of sky scrapers as their presence looms up before those on the sidewalk below. At the same time, however, there is also a sense in which it is the gaze of the inhabitants of those tall buildings who are offered the view that is prioritized over the other senses.

However, very often the approach as, in fact, evidenced by Malnar and Vodvarka (2004) has been to work one sense at a time. Until recently, that is, one finds exactly the same kind of sense-by-sense (or unisensory) approach in the worlds of interior design (Bailly Dunne & Sears, 1998), advertising (Lucas & Britt, 1950), marketing (Hultén, Broweus, & Dijk, 2009; Krishna, 2013; Lind strom, 2005), and atmospherics (see Bille & Sørensen, 2018, on architectural atmospherics; and Kotler, 1974, on the theme of store atmospherics).

Recently, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of the non-visual senses to various fields of design (Haverkamp, 2014; Lupton & Lipps, 2018; Malnar & Vodvarka, 2004). As yet, however, there has not been sufficient recognition of the extent to which the senses interact. As Wil liams (1980, p. 5) noted some 40years ago: “Aside from meeting common standards of performance, architects do little creatively with acoustical, thermal, olfactory, and tactile sensory responses.” As we will see later, it is not clear that much has changed since.

The look of architecture There are a number of ways in which visual perception science can be linked to architectural design practice. For instance, think only of the tricks played on the eyes by the trapezoidal balconies on the famous The Future apartment building in Manhattan (see Fig. 2). They
appear to slant downward when viewed from one side while appearing to slope upward instead, if viewed from the other. The causes of such a visual illusion can, at the very least, be meaningfully explained in terms of visual perception research (Bruno & Pavani, 2018).


Cognitive neuroscientists have recently demonstrated that we have an innate preference for visual curvature, be it in internal space (Vartanian et al., 2013), or for the fur niture that is found within that space (Dazkir & Read, 2012; see also Lee, 2018; Thömmes & Hübner, 2018). We typically rate curvilinear forms as being more approach able than rectilinear ones (see Fig. 3). Angular forms, espe cially when pointing downward/toward us, may well be perceived as threatening, and hence are somewhat more likely to trigger an avoidance response (Salgado-Montejo, Salgado, Alvarado, & Spence, 2017).

As Ingrid Lee, former design director at IDEO New York put it in her book, Joyful: The surprising power of ordinary things to create extra ordinary happiness: “Angular objects, even if they’re not directly in your path as you move through your home, have an unconscious effect on your emotions. They may look chic and sophisticated, but they inhibit our playful impulses. Round shapes do just the opposite. A circular or elliptical coffee table changes a living room from a space for sedate, restrained interaction to a lively center for conversation and impromptu games” (Lee, 2018,p.142).

Comment by 陳老頭 on March 8, 2024 at 9:07pm

One might consider here whether Lee’s comments can be scaled up to describe how we move through the city. Does the visually striking building shown in Fig.4, for instance, really promote joyfulness and a carefree travel through the urban environment.
It seems doubtful, given the evidence suggesting that viewing angular shapes, even briefly, has been shown to trigger a fear response in the amygdala, the part of the brain that is involved in emotion (e.g., LeDoux, 2003). Meanwhile, Liu, Bogicevic, and Mattila (2018)have noted how the round versus angular nature of the servi cescape also influences the consumer response in service encounters. The height of the ceiling has also been shown to exert an influence over our approach-avoidance responses, and perhaps even our style of thinking (Baird, Cassidy, & Kurr, 1978; Meyers-Levy & Zhu, 2007; Vartanian et al., 2015).

However, here it should also be born in mind that the visual perception of space is significantly influenced by colour and lighting (Lam, 1992; Manav, Kutlu, & Küçükdoğu, 2010; Oberfeld, Hecht, & Gamer, 2010; von Castell, Hecht, & Oberfeld, 2018). Given many such psy chological observations, it should perhaps come as no surprise to find that links between cognitive neurosci ence and architecture have grown rapidly in recent years (Choo, Nasar, Nikrahei, & Walther, 2017; Eberhard, 2007; Mallgrave, 2011; Robinson & Pallasmaa, 2015). At the same time, however,

it is also worth remembering that it has primarily been people’s response to examples or styles of architecture that have been presented visu ally (via a monitor), with the participant lying horizontal, that have been studied to date, given the confines of the brain-scanning environment (though see also Papale, Chiesi, Rampinini, Pietrini, & Ricciardi, 2016).3 3Relevant here, Mitchell (2005) has suggested that there are, in fact, no uniquely visual media.

At the same time, however, it is important to realize that it is not just our visual cortex that re sponds to architecture. For, as Frances Anderton writes in The Architectural Review: “We appreciate a place not just by its impact on our visual cortex but by the way in which it sounds, it feels and smells. Some of these sensual experiences elide, for instance our full understanding of wood is often achieved by a perception of its smell, its texture (which can be ap preciated by both looking and feeling) and by the way in which it modulates the acoustics of the space.” (Anderton, 1991, p. 27).

The multisensory appreciation of quality here linking to a growing body of research on multisensory shitsukan perception shitsukan, the Japaneseword for “a sense of material quality” or “material perception” (see Fujisaki, 2020; Komatsu & Goda, 2018; Spence, 2020b). The following sub-sections summarize some of the key findings on how the non-visual sensory attributes of the built and urban environment affect us, when considered individually.

The sound of space: are you listening? What a space sounds like is undoubtedly important (Bavis ter, Lawrence, & Gage, 2018; McLuhan, 1961; Porteous & Mastin, 1985;Thompson,1999). Sounds can, after all, pro vide subtle cues as to the identity or proportions of a space, even hinting at its function (Blesser & Salter, 2007;Eber hard, 2007; Robart & Rosenblum, 2005). As Pallasmaa (1994,p.31) notes:“Every building or space has its charac teristic sound of intimacy or monumentality, rejection or invitation, hospitality or hostility.”

Comment by 陳老頭 on March 3, 2024 at 10:20pm

However, more often than not, discussion around sound and architectural design tends to revolve around how best to avoid, or minimize, unwantednoise(seeOwen,2019, on growing concerns re garding the latter). Indeed, as J. Douglas Porteous notes: “with the rapid urbanization of the world’spopulation, far more attention is being given to noise than to environmental sound …

Research has concentrated almost entirely upon a single aspect of sound, the concept of noise or ‘unwanted sound.’” (Porteous, 1990, p. 48). Some years earlier, Schafer (1977, p. 222) had made much the same point when he wrote that:

“The modern architect is designing for the deaf …. The study of sound enters modern architecture schools only as sound reduction, isolation and absorption.” The fact that year-on-year, noise continues to be one of the top complaints from restaurant patrons, perhaps tells us all we need to know about how successful designers have been in this regard (see Spence, 2014, for a review; Wagner, 2018).

There is also an emerging story here regarding the deleterious effects of loud background noise, and the often-beneficial effects of music and soundscapes, on the recovery of patients in the hospital/healthcare setting (see Spence & Keller, 2019, for a review). Meanwhile, one of the main complaints from those office workers forced to move into one of the open plan offices that have become so popular (amongst employers, if not em ployees) in recent years (see ‘Redesigning the corporate office’, 2019) is around noise distraction (Borzykowski, 2017; Burkus, 2016; Evans & Johnson, 2000).4

Once again, one might want to ask what responsibility architects bear. Experimental evidence documenting the deleterious effect of open-plan working has been reported by a number of researchers (e.g., Bernstein & Turban, 2018; De Croon, Sluiter, Kuijer, & Frings-Dresen, 2005; Otterbring, Pareigis, Wästlund, Makrygiannis, & Lindström, 2018). There is research ongoing in a number of countries to investigate the use of nature sounds, such as, for example, the sound of running water, to help mask other people’s distracting conversations (Hongisto, Varjo, Oliva, Haapa kangas, & Benway, 2017). 


4 This an issue close to my own heart currently, as the Department where I work was closed due to the discovery of large amounts of asbestos (see BBC News, 2017). The university and the latest firm of architects involved in the project are currently battling it out to determine how much of the new building will be given over to individual offices versus shared open-plan offices and hot-desking. The omens, I have to say (at least pre-pandemic), from what is happening elsewhere in the education sector, do not look good (Kinman & Gar field, 2015).
Intriguingly, however, it turns out that people’s beliefs about the source of masking sounds, especially in the case of ambiguous noise, can sometimes influence how much relief they provide (Haga, Halin, Holmgren, & Sörqvist, 2016). So, for instance, Haga and her colleagues played the same ambiguous pink noise with interspersed white noise to three groups of office workers. To one control group, the experimenters said nothing, a second group of participants was told that they could hear industrial machinery noise, while a third group was told that they were listening to nature sounds, based on a waterfall, instead.

Comment by 陳老頭 on March 2, 2024 at 5:30pm

Intriguingly, subjective restoration was significantly higher amongst those who thought that they were listening to the nature sounds than in those who thought that they were listening to industrial noise instead. As might have been expected, the results of the control group, fell somewhere in between.

Paley Park in New York has often been put forward as a particularly elegant solution to the problem of negating unwanted traffic noise in the context of urban design (e.g., Carroll, 1967; Prochnik, 2009). In 1967, the empty lot resulting from the demolition of the Stork Club on 53rd Street was transformed into a small public park (a so called pocket park). The space was developed by Zion and Breen.

In this case, the acoustic space, think only of the sounds, or better said noise, of the city, is effectively masked by the presence of a waterfall at the far end of the lot (see Fig. 5). What is more, the free-standing chairs allow the visitor to move closer to the waterfall should they feel the need to drown out a little more of the urban noise.

The greenery growing thickly along the side walls also likely helps to absorb the noise of the city. Music plays an important role in our experience of the built environment- think here only of the Muzak of de cades gone by (Lanza, 2004). This is as true of the guest’s hotel experience (e.g., when entering the lobby) as it is elsewhere (e.g., in a shopping centre or bar, say).5

The sound that greets customers in the lobby is apparently very important to Ian Schrager, the Brooklyn-born entrepreneur who created fabled nightclub Studio 54 in New York. In recent years, he has been working with Marriott to launch The EDITION hotels in a number of major cities, including London and New York. Music plays a key role in the Schrager experience.

As the entrepreneur puts it: “The sound of a hotel lobby is often dictated by monotonous, vapid lounge muzak– a zombie-like drone of new jazz and polite house, with the sole purpose of whiling away the waiting time between check-in and check-out.” As might have been expected, the music in the lobbies of The EDITION hotels is carefully curated (Eriksen, 2014, p. 27).

However, the thumping noise of the music from the nightclub/bar that is often also an integral part of the experience offered by these hip venues means that meticulous architectural design is also required in order to limit the spread of unwanted noise through the rest of the building (e.g., so as not to disturb the sleep of those who may be resting in the rooms upstairs). Note here that there are also some increasingly sophisticated solutions- including sound-absorbing panels, as well as active noise cancellation systems- to dampen unwanted sound in open spaces such as restaurants and offices (Clynes, 2012).

5Here, one might also consider the Abercrombie & Fitch clothing brand. For a number of years, the chain also managed to craft a distinctive dance sound to match the dark nightclub-like appearance of their interiors.

愛墾網 是文化創意人的窩;自2009年7月以來,一直在挺文化創意人和他們的創作、珍藏。As home to the cultural creative community, iconada.tv supports creators since July, 2009.

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