Sound-Frameworks Design Tool - V0.72 (Beta)

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Introduction: Overview · Terms · Credits · Instructions
Diagrams: Core · Custom · Connections
Cues: Sequencer
Project: New · Review · Modify
Data: Information · Core · Custom · Connections · Sequencer · Export

Overview

This is a design tool that supports working with sound in the context of the public realm. It can be used to develop strategies for integrating sound within city-making processes, from small-scale interventions to city-wide masterplanning.

This is a beta version of this design tool. It was last updated January 8, 2024. The current version has limited functionality and is provided for demonstration purposes only. Red text indicates notes about the limitations of this beta version.

To request a demo or to be alerted when the alpha version of this design tool is released, email Sven Anderson at sven@theatrum-mundi.org.

To find out more about the background and development of this design tool, visit www.soundframeworks.org.

© Sven Anderson and Theatrum Mundi, 2024.

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Introduction

This design tool is used to integrate considerations of sound and listening in the design and planning of the public realm.

The tool is intended to be used by diverse users in the context of specific projects sited in the public realm. It can be used by architects, artists, community groups, developers, spatial planners, acousticians and others to support projects such as the development of urban sound installations, the design of public squares, responses to noise produced by transportation infrastructure or the development of sound-oriented objectives for entire urban districts. These are only examples - the tool is presented as open to its users to define the contexts in which it is applied.

The tool is located at https://design.soundframeworks.org.

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Terms of Use

This is a beta version of this design tool. It has limited functionality and is provided for demonstration purposes only.

The tool is desiged for use on a device with a wide screen. It is not intended for use on a mobile device. If you do not see three columns on this page, attempt to resize your browser to a larger size or access the design tool from a device with a wider screen.

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Credits

The Sound-Frameworks design tool is being developed by Sven Anderson and Theatrum Mundi. The Sound-Frameworks research project was developed by Sven Anderson and Theatrum Mundi as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship with support from partnership with Arup, UrbanIdentity, Struer Kommune, the University of Oxford Faculty of Music and the Sound Studies Lab at the University of Copenhagen.

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Sound-Frameworks has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101032632.

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Instructions

This tool is organised on a single web page using three columns, which can scroll independently in the vertical direction.

(Preparation)

To use the tool, navigate the tool's three columns and enter information about the specific project you are working on. When you are finished, export a PDF report that displays all of the information that you entered, and which provides diagrams that help visualise and communicate about the sound-related objectives of the project with a variety of stakeholders.

The first column contains navigation links which control the vertical scroll of all three columns, plus information about the tool and instructions for the tool's usage.

The second column contains three interactive diagrams and a sequencer. The diagrams represent core indicators, custom indicators and connections, and the sequencer is used to display design cues that provoke ideas for using the design tool.

The third column contains interface elements that allow you to input information about the specific project that you want to address.

(Step 1)

Although they are presented in linear order, the first six of the seven steps listed here can be approached in any order. Equally it is possible to move back and forth between steps as you work.

The first step is to input basic information about the project, including project name, authors, stage (of design) and description. The tool automatically generates a project ID, date and version number.

These paraamters are currently for demostration purposes only. Similarly the core functions such as 'New' project, 'View' project and 'Modify' project are disabled.

(Step 2)

The second step is to address four core indicators that relate to the project:

Value
Narrative
Legibility
Integration

These four indicators are crucial to communicating about sound-related objectivs in the design and planning of the public realm. They are defined just above the Core Indicators diagram in the second column of the design tool. As you assign a significance and a rating to each of these indicators, the diagram is updated to visualise the information you have entered.

The 'Significance' of each indicator can be set at either 1, 2 or 3. If you feel that the indicator is not very signficant, select 1. If it is of moderate significance, select 2. If it is very significant, select 3. As you adjust the significance, the corresponding indicator on the chart changes size. Adjust the indicators' significance as you feel best represents your project.

The 'Rating' for each indicator can be set at either 1, 2 or 3. If you feel that the particular indicator is not performing well in your project, select 1. If it is decently but could be improved, select 2. If it is performing very well, select 3. As you adjust the value, the colour of the corresponding indicator on the chart changes from red (1) to yellow (2) to green (3). Adjust the indicators' values to to best represent your project. The colour coding will help visualise the project's strenghts and weaknesses in relation to these indicators.

Add 'Notes' for each indicator to explain it within the current project context. Keep these notes clear and concise.

Add 'Actions' to each indicator to consider what might be done to improve the project in this domain, or to link this indicator with other dimensions of the project. If there are no actions to be taken, state why this is the case.

If you are having trouble filling out the 'Notes' and 'Actions' sections, it might be helpful to use the 'Sequencer' described in (Step 5) of these instructions.

(Step 3)

Once you have begun working with the core indicators, advance to the 'Custom Indicators' diagram in column two and corresponding input elements in column three.It is through the selection of these indicators that you can begin to adjust the scope of the work that you wish to achieve using this design tool.

You can choose between one and eight custom indicators for your project. Leave any unwanted custom indicators set to 'Not Assigned' if you do not need them in the scope of your project. Often working with fewer indicators can achieve a clearer overview of a project.

The current list of custom indicators (ordered alphabetically) is:

Accessibility, Acoustics, Activism, Ambiance, Architecture, Atmosphere, Biodiversity, Building Codes, Climate Change, Commercial Space, Community, Conflict, Crisis, Culture, Density, Ecology, Education, Environmental Acoustics, Equity, Events, Exclusion, Gentrification, Heritage, ICTs, Inclusion, Industrial Space, Landscape, Lighting, Masterplanning, Mobility, Morphology, Music, Nature, Night-Time Use, Noise, Noise Complaints, Noise Regulations, Non-Human Life, Pedestrian Space, Personal Space, Physical Plant, Public Art, Residential Space, Resilience, Redevelopment, Safety, Shelter, Silence, Soundscape, Sports, Sprawl, Suburbs, Sustainability, Tranquility, Transportation, Vibrance, Waste Management, Water Features, Weather, Zoning,

It might be useful to arrange the custom indicators in different orders within the custom indicators chart. Try to assign the indicators before setting the 'Significance', 'Rating', 'Notes' and 'Actions' for each custom indicator.

For instructions on how to set the 'Significance', 'Rating', 'Notes' and 'Actions' for each custom indicator, review the instructions in (Step 2) above.

This custom indicators diagram is not connected with the user input elements in the third column in the current beta version of this design tool, and is included for illustrative purposes only. It is pre-populated with a random set of custom indicators for illustrative purposes.

(Step 4)

When you have set up your core and custom indicators, progress to the 'Connections' diagram in column two and corresponding user input elements in column 3.

The 'Connections' diagram maps the linkages between core indicators and custom indicators, showing how specific aspects of the project contribute to its value, narrative, legibility and integration. The weights of the connections demonstrate how much each custom indicator contributes to each core indicator, and can be set in the third column. The colours are derived from the settings used in the core indicator diagram and custom indicator diagram.

The 'Connections' diagram is not connected with the user input elements in the third column in the current beta version of this design tool, and is included for illustrative purposes only.

(Step 5)

It can be challenging to fill in the 'Notes' and 'Actions' section for each indicator. To help with this process, the design tool includes a 'Sequencer' which displays design cues that are randomly extracted from a database of best practice guidelines concerning sound and the public realm. Developed from the survey and interviews developed within the Sound-Frameworks research project, these cues are taken from conversations with a variety of practitioners who work with sound in the context of the public realm.

The best practice cues that are displayed in the sequencer are purposely displayed in random sequences, and are not meant to be taken as directives to include in your session with the design tool. Instead, they aim to encourage new ways of thinking about working with sound in the public realm by sharing experiences of other practitioners.

The sequencer is not connected with the user input elements in the third column in the current beta version of this design tool, and is included for illustrative purposes only. The five cues displayed are randomly selected from the datbase of best practice design cues every time the design tool is loaded.

(Step 6)

Once you have filled in the information in all of the sections and populated the three diagrams, review your information and modify the diagrams to most accurately represent your project. Adjusting the 'Significance and 'Value' of each indicator will allow you to fine-tune the diagrams to most clearly demonstrate the relationship between different dimensions of the project. Adding short responses for all of the indicators' 'Notes' and 'Actions' sections will ensure that you have sufficient information for others to understand your project.

(Step 7)

When you are complete, use the 'Export to PDF' button at the bottom of the third column to export the information and diagrams entered in the design tool as a downloadable report. This report can be used to communicate with others involved in the design process to draw attention to how sound is integrated in the design of the public realm in this particular scenario.

The report can be saved to compare with subsequent design tool sessions developed at later stages of the project to review progress and address obstacles.

The 'Export to PDF' function is disabled in the current beta version of this design tool.

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Diagrams and Cues

Core Indicators

The project's 'Value' is its perceived usefulness or importance. The project's 'Narrative' is what is told to communicate the project to diverse stakeholders. 'Legibility' measures how much the project's 'Value' can be understood through this 'Narrative'. Finally, 'Integration' indicates how well the project's intended strategy for working with sound is connected with other aspects of the public realm project being developed.


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Custom Indicators

Select up to eight custom indicators from the dropdown lists in the third column. Choose indicators that represent the most important aspects of the public realm project being developed, including those that relate to sound as well as those that relate to other dimensions of the project.

This diagram is not connected with the user input elements in the third column in the current beta version of this design tool, and is included for illustrative purposes only. It is pre-populated with a random set of custom indicators for illustrative purposes.


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Connections

This diagram maps the linkages between core indicators and custom indicators, showing how specific aspects of the project contribute to its value, narrative, legibility and integration. The weights of the connections demonstrate how much each custom indicator contributes to each core indicator, and can be set in the third column. The colours are derived from the settings used in the core indicator diagram and custom indicator diagram.

This diagram is not connected with the user input elements in the third column in the current beta version of this design tool, and is included for illustrative purposes only.


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Sequencer (Design Cues)

This section displays cues that are selected from the Sound-Frameworks best practice guidelines database. The cues are included here to provoke unforeseen ideas involving sound and the public realm when using this design tool. The cues can be sequenced to refresh periodically at different speeds by using the controls in the 'Sequencer' section in the third column of this tool. They can also be paused so that they remain visible while continuing to use the tool.

This section is not connected with the user input elements in the third column in the current beta version of this design tool, and is included for illustrative purposes only. The five cues displayed here are randomly selected from the datbase of best practice design cues every time this design tool is loaded.

Cue 1: We are working on a local school project that involves bringing sound artists into the classroom and making different projects that relate directly to the things that students are already doing in school. This kind of exploration and integration of working with sound in pedagogy helps to ensure that it might reappear later in other aspects of life.

Cue 2: So the idea about the car becoming a cocoon is being tested. And it is basically the idea that you can park your car, blind the windows, and then relax inside the car, take a nap, go to sleep. But again, depending on where you ask people, some were really afraid about the security of sleeping on the street. Others from other countries were not so afraid about that. There were some wishes for the car to be able to somehow monitor the surroundings and give kind of alert waking up people inside the car in case there was something that was not supposed to be going on around the car.

Cue 3: Quiet is not always good.

Cue 4: What we've noticed is that if there's a sense of ownership in a project, people will work on it. They'll actually continue to implemented it after the original project phases end, because they're happy with the results. So that's what we're looking into: How can an externally-initiated project becomes something that people are actually interested in? Because as soon as you implement something that is new, there will be challenges.

Cue 5: I discussed this with incomers to Berlin who were coming from many different places around the world. Everybody says that it's a quiet city compared with the one they were in before - certainly in my case; London. Another close friend; New York City. So it was obviously interesting to ask the question: Why is Berlin quieter? What makes it quieter? So I asked that question to about 40 people and got answers, which were many and varied. So varied, in fact, that I couldn't make a coherent summary of it. Instead I made a list.

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