“Sonic Empowerment: Reframing ‘atmosphere’ through Sonic Urban Design”

Ruukku, Studies in Artistic research, n. 13, 2020

"Urban atmosphere," which concerns the intangible features that give "life" to everyday environments, provides an important means of appreciating the self-image and narratives of marginalized towns and localities.

This paper posits listening critically to sonic environments as a means of exploring and reframing urban atmosphere. Listening practices with a sound art-oriented approach can empower local inhabitants and municipalities by inspiring the collaborative governance of immaterial commons.

Sonic urban design, which converges sound art and planning, is presented as a tool for developing awareness of the "uniqueness" and fragility of urban atmosphere through listening activities and proposed community-based sonic guidelines. The initial outcomes of my participation as an artist in residence during the sound art festival Liminaria 2018 provides a recent example of sonic urban design in practice.

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photo credits Nicola Di Croce