Sounds about right

One of the areas I chose to look into for the DOYYEC was sound as that was always one of the things that got to me with the space. It felt so quiet at times that it was oppressive and at other times when it was full it could be overbearingly loud. Humans feel comfortable with an ambient noise level of around 50 decibels and so this needs to be factored into a new design. Less than that and people can feel uncomfortable and isolated or inhibited in breaking the silence. More than that and it’s hard to focus or follow a conversation.

 

To control this then we need to control the acoustics of the space with the use of speakers for when the room is fairly empty and sound absorbing materials and baffles for when it’s full. That brings us to part of acoustics which can be overlooked: reverberation. The DOYYEC has many large smooth surfaces and this can make the sound bounce around a lot which can be distracting to people holding conversations. This can be combated using materials to break how the sound would normally bounce.

 

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This is a nice example of how large surfaces can be covered to control sound and bring in some vibrant colour.

 

As I mentioned above speakers can be used to stop the area getting quiet but any that are used need to be controllable locally and I have been looking at the use of sound bars and domes such as you see in restaurants and museums. 

 

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Above are two examples of directional speakers supplied by Brown Innovations and the use of these could transform the way a space sounds. The only big surface I not covered, if you’ll excuse the pun, is the ceiling. In the DOYYEC this is one massive, smooth surface so something to look at would be the use of baffles on the ceiling, and these can be quite decorative:

 

 

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Like this one from Resonics

 

 

  1. Brown Innovations,. (2017). Domes and soundbars in location. Retrieved from http://www.browninnovations.com/
  2. Resonics,. (2017). Room with ceiling baffles. Retrieved from http://resonics.co.uk/acoustic-products-projects/texaa-abso/