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Conference paper

While sound is generally recognised as an important sense, it is not often explored in landscape architecture as a driver of design in enhancing well-being. Additionally, Olin suggests that restorative aspects of nature “can be brought to the city” through landscape design, and Cerwén identifies that positive healing outcomes are associated with exposure to ‘nature sounds’ in certain situations. Other existing research has shown that consideration of soundscapes within built environments can be utilised in mitigating unwanted sounds such as traffic in the urban environment for a therapeutic benefit. According to Cerwén, there remains gaps in the research in clarifying “contextual cues, types of sounds involved, physical properties of sounds and interactions with other sensory inputs” and in finding opportunities to employ sound as a positive contribution to space. Thus, this paper introduces the idea of ‘composing’ the soundscape of a space through a musical process. With a focus on aural experience in gardens, the project is establishing what types, combinations and intensities of sounds offer interest and distraction and capture unconscious and conscious attention. Just as forms, textures and materiality are already considered in the landscape design process, these ‘sound materials’ will be incorporated into considerations for design thinking.


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