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General audio topics that don't fit into specific categories.

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I wish architects working today would pay more attention to acoustics. You're lucky if they understand how their design and aesthetic choices affect the usability and comfort level of the spaces they create.

Short reverberation times are a key to making a space feel cozy and tranquil - good for an office, reading nook, library. So those spaces should include sound absorbtion. Diffusion is great way to get rid of hard echoes that make a room feel cold or harm speech intelligibility, while still allowing it to sound open and spacious. Acoustic isolation should be considered in the design too, so that spaces with different purposes can coexist peacefully in the same building. I don't see architects paying attention to any of those things.

For example, before the pandemic, open "agile" work spaces were all the rage. So were shared office spaces for transient use. Rarely do these ever include acoustic barriers or absorption, so it's difficult to concentrate in them. Also, most newer restaurants that have opened around my area in the last 10 years or so are echo chambers. When they fill up, there's a cacophony that makes it difficult to have a conversation without raising your voice, leaning in, asking people to repeat things.

Modern architecture is particularly difficult because of the prevalence of large flat parallel surfaces and the use of acoustically hard materials. Also, you don't want to spoil a clean minimalist look by adding "tack-on" acoustic treatments after the fact. If acoustics were built into the design, you could have that clean modern look without the cold, hard echoes.

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  • Here you go - Dave_K 11:22:33 05/03/21 (0)


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