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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13909

Title: Listening in the Absence of Sight: The Sound of Inclusive Environments
Authors: HERSSENS, Jasmien
Roelants, L.
Rychtáriková, M.
Heylighen, A.
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Helen Hamlyn Research Center
Citation: Include 2011 proceedings
Abstract: Sound provides information about our environment that is vital for social interaction, knowledge transfer and spatial orientation. Moreover, it has profound effects on our emotional responses to the world around us. Although a more conscious use of sound holds great potential to counteract the visual dominance in architecture, so far it received relatively little attention in designing inclusive environments. In exploring this potential, our study calls in the help of people with a visual impairment; forced to rely on non-visual senses, they learn to be more attentive to auditory information. After introducing Schafer’s notion of soundscape and categorization of keynotes, signals and soundmarks, we cross analyse 22 in-depth interviews with visually impaired people, focusing on auditory qualities and constraints in the environment. The analysis yields interesting insights regarding the amount and kind of sounds heard, the different roles sounds may play, and the way the soundscape can be manipulated. In the absence of sight, several sounds that most people categorize under keynotes, are upgraded to soundmarks or signals. We conclude with suggestions on how architects could integrate these findings with an eye to designing more inclusive environments.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/13909
ISBN: 978-1-907342-29-5
Category: C1
Type: Proceedings Paper
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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