Design Con 2015

Sound Affects

-February 08, 2013

Architects focus on the eyes but our spaces sound terrible. There is a certain unconsciousness about the sound around us every day. When I lived in Brooklyn as a young boy, I was right down the street from the elevated B train which would pass fairly frequently throughout the day and night. When it passed by 39th street and 10th Avenue where I lived , the metal-on-metal sound was deafening, but that repeated sound I would hear for the many years that I lived near it, became virtually non-existent to me. I am sure many of you have had similar experiences if you think about it.

Biamp Systems

Listen to Steve Metzger, President and CEO of Biamp Systems.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to Graeme Harrison, Executive VP of marketing for Biamp Systems, a designer of equipment to deliver, manage and enhance sound in airports, arenas, courtrooms, Houses of Worship, theaters, universities, corporation and conference centers. Graeme sent me a booklet written for Biamp by Julian Treasure called “Sound Affects” which was written to “refocus on the A of AV, exploring why sound quality matters in business and (act) as a guide to achieve the best results when installing it.” The booklet, Biamp’s solutions and Treasure’s philosophy resonate powerfully with me. I love and appreciate all types of music as well as serenity and my first job as an engineer was with a high-end audio company.

Julian Treasure

Julian Treasure is author of the book Sound Business, the first map of the exciting new territory of applied sound for business, and he has been widely featured in the world’s media, including TIME Magazine, The Economist, The Times, UK national TV and radio, as well as many international trade and business magazines. His three TED talks have been viewed an estimated four million times. The first is on the four effects of sound; the second on sound and health and the third, which has over a million views on the TED website alone, is on conscious listening.

Treasure comments, “….I have experienced so many commercial spaces, from shops and offices to schools and transport terminals, where poor sound is having devastating effects on sales, on communication, on productivity, on customer satisfaction, or on wellbeing.” He is chairman of The Sound Agency, a UK-based consultancy that helps clients achieve better results by optimizing the sound they make in every aspect of business.

Listening is making meaning from sound, says Treasure. We all listen through a set of filters, though most of us are completely unaware of them. These include our culture, language, beliefs, attitudes, expectations and intentions.

Check out this case study on Biamp’s website regarding the St. Pancras Renaissance hotel, a 19th century London treasure.

St. Pancras Hotel in London shown here


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