GLOBAL SOUND LAB
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Global Sound Lab is a global initiative, a platform for ideas and solutions with the aim of highlighting the importance of sound in the human experience.
Global Sound Lab’s actions consist of coordinated activities and actions in both the private and public spheres to design a more acoustically comfortable and sustainable world.
These activities will aim to stimulate worldwide understanding of the important role sound plays in all aspects of our lives.
In addition, these actions will also promote understanding of the need to control noise in nature, in the built environment and in the workplace.
Corporate sound identity, Audio-Branding and sound design in the urban environment are the pillars of our professional activity as well as consulting, training and mentoring in business communication with sound as a transversal lever and generator of impact experiences.
ACOUSTIC CONDITIONING OF GETXO ITSAS HUB
Among the acoustic conditioning projects that Global Sound Lab has recently carried out, is the Getxo Itsas Hub, an entrepreneurship center specialized in the maritime industry. With eighteen projects housed, Getxo Itsas Hub regularly develops talks, conferences and events, activities that require especially a studied and customized acoustic conditioning for each room. The diaphanous and spacious rooms of the company produced reverberating and echoing sounds, making interpersonal communication difficult. To alleviate these negative effects, we used our own acoustic panels with an integrated and discreet design to dampen sound in order to create a much more comfortable and pleasant working environment.
BILBAO CITY SOUNDSCAPE
From a sound mapping and a previous study of the metropolitan area of Bilbao, from Global Sound Lab we are developing a comprehensive sound project. This is how the Bilbao City Soundscape initiative arises, from the vocation to create a city that prioritizes the welfare, sustainability and safety of citizens taking into account the possibilities that sound offers for it.
Among other things, one of the applications of sound as a catalyst for well-being is urban security. When we think of security tools, we most likely think of cameras. However, adding audio to video surveillance systems increases the effectiveness of these devices dramatically. Security cameras are capable of detecting indicators such as unusual behavior or the invasion of a perimeter by an individual. However, the implementation of audio would allow for a much faster and more effective response. Thus, these audio detection systems could recognize specific alarm signals such as gunshots, broken glass and verbal aggression. In this regard, several studies claim that this reduction in response time could save around 10,000 lives per year in the United States alone.
In a current scenario with more than half of the world’s population living in cities, noise reduction and the attainment of acoustically healthy and pleasant ecosystems become rights of first necessity for citizens. While the parameters of urban wellbeing are limited to an aesthetic vision of the city, the need to contemplate the sound aspect becomes one of the most important and ambitious challenges in urban planning. Beyond the legislation that many cities have in place to reduce noise pollution and taking into account the impact that sound has on our health, the Bilbao City Soundscape initiative offers concrete actions and proposals to make Bilbao a city with an identifying, responsible and healthy sound.
To do this, the first step is to design a personalized soundscape. But what is a soundscape? It is a facet of urban design capable of reflecting the traditional and cultural characteristics of an area that considers urban sound as a potential resource. The soundscape concept can have a positive impact on a city’s sound identity. In addition to noise control, understood as unwanted sounds, the design of a soundscape also involves the study of geophony, that is, all those sounds generated by water, wind, rain or other natural physical processes. Thus, the sound of a water fountain, for example, is an ideal instrument for attracting attention and masking traffic noise. However, anthrophony, or in other words, sounds generated by human activity, is an aspect that cannot be overlooked. Unlike those generated by nature, the latter often have a negative impact on the urban environment, such as traffic. In short, the soundscape of a city is conditioned by all these factors, which, when well cared for, create a unique auditory identity. Among the elements of the soundscape that help to create more pleasant soundscapes are the planting of green walls, the study of the structure of water, noise reduction barriers made of different materials, for example.
As we have already mentioned, we live in a world that is constantly urbanizing, which multiplies not only environmental pollution, but also noise pollution. In that sense, the roar of vehicle engines provides a constant backdrop to all elements of city life. So as that din is gradually replaced by the hum of electric vehicles, the sound of the city will change. The noise pollution for which cars are largely responsible has been linked to premature death and a wide variety of health problems. Away from the perception of electric cars as a danger to pedestrians, the possibility of electric vehicles detecting nearby individuals and triggering sounds that integrate into the urban soundscape is being studied.