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Building in Sound

I'm thrilled to have helped my friends at Biamp Systems create a really important white paper about how noise in the modern world affects us all. It's called Building in Sound and I have a pdf, hot of the metaphorical press, which I'm attaching to this blog so that you can download your own copy.

This document took months to produce, involving an exhaustive review of literature going back some 40 years, and its intention is to enrol as many people as possible in the message that sound must be carefully considered in the design process, whether for a building or an environment – a very similar message to my recent TED talk on why architects need to start designing with their ears. There is no time to lose in getting this message across to architects, planners, government, and those commissioning buildings: we are currently creating schools, hospitals, offices and urban spaces that are simply not fit for purpose, and every one of these is just another problem to be solved, involving more expense at a time when money is tight. It's so much easier and cheaper to design in good acoustics, low noise and good sound systems at the start – and yet sound is rarely considered an important element of design, and even if it has been included, so often acoustics and sound systems are the first things to get 'value engineered' out of the project. This can all happen because nobody on the team understands the massive effect these seemingly minor decisions will have on the people living, working or occupying that space for years to come. Maybe it's just because sound is invisible… so we need to start shouting about it.

I hope this white paper is another important brick in the wall of increasing sound awareness, conscious listening and designing with sound. Well done to Biamp for sponsoring it. Please do read it and then use it wherever you can to pass the message on. Sound matters!

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