Michael Kimmelman: Why Sound Matters

"Architects often don’t think about sound. Here’s why they should." An eye-opening article by architecture critic, author and columnist of The New York Times Michael Kimmelman who will speak at RESONATE conference in Lisbon.

The New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman points out the fourth dimension of architecture we usually don't think about: the sound experience that has many more layers besides noise and silence.

In his essay originally written for the New York Times, Michael Kimmelman trully recalls our attention to the sound experience that architects rarely are aware of when it comes to the design and how the sound experience affects its users. Sound, no less than aesthetic design of a space, gives a distinctive character to the places we work, inhabit, play, rest and so on, and helps shaping our perceptions and making us feel these places. Thereby, Michael Kimmelman points out that "...you don’t need to be a specialist to distinguish spaces according to the sounds they make."

Michael Kimmelman will be amongst 20 international guests to speak at RESONATE, Thinking Sound and Space in Lisbon on February 12. The line-up includes Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, the Founding Partner of Snøhetta who will present the secrets of their successful Oslo Opera House. The Principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro Elisabeth Diller, rebel of the profession and one of the most influential builders of cultural spaces such as Los Angeles’s Broad Museum and The Shed between New York’s High Line and Hudson Yards, will speak about their achieved and future projects.

A room sounds very different when a window is open. Sound defines, animates and enlarges the architecture.

Kimmelman also points out that "sound defines, animates and enlarges the architecture" and he adds: "If only subliminally, we also know, by contrast, when sound spoils architecture because it fails to correspond to function." Thus, he underlines how sound and form reinforce each other, and why sound should be an integral part of the design processes of architecture.

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