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Conference_programme: 12.2 - Smart and holistic solutions for acoustic comfort

Lecture: Narrative Sonic Ambiances: Designing Positive Auditory Environments Using Narrative Strategies

Author(s): Meelberg Vincent

Positive auditory environments are environments that allow their inhabitants to exhibit self-selected proactive adaptive behaviour. The way people experience their auditory environment in terms of quietness - that is, the absence of unwanted sounds - liveliness, and pleasantness indicates the degree to which they feel safe and comfortable in this environment. By taking the design of positive auditory hospital environments as a case study, this presentation will discuss how narrative strategies may contribute to the design of positive auditory environments. \n\nIn this discussion two concepts will be addressed: ambiance and narrative. The concept of ambiance addresses the interrelatedness of environments and the subjects that populate these environments. An ambiance can be defined as a space-time qualified from a sensory perspective, and foregrounds the interaction between the properties of an environment and the lived experience of its inhabitants. Ambiances are ongoing and temporal negotiations between the sensing body in relation to others and the environment. Ambiance therefore is a productive concept in order to analyse the impact of auditory environments on its inhabitants. Narrativity is what makes a temporal phenomenon engaging for its observers. Narrative here is understood as a representation of a temporal development. It is a representation of sequence of logically and chronologically related events. Therefore, an auditory environment that can be interpreted by its inhabitants as a soundscape consisting of sequences of sounds that make sense to them in time, thus as a narrative, is likely to be experienced as one that is lively, pleasant, and devoid of unwanted sounds. As a consequence, a narrative auditory environment may improve the temporal negotiations between the environment and its inhabitants and allow them to exhibit self-selected proactive adaptive behaviour.

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Corresponding author

Name: Dr Vincent Meelberg

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Country: Netherlands