The an experience of interiority. I regard

The process of experiencing a space
is related to our senses, usually the space perception act focuses on the
visual aspect, and it has been associated with the sense of sight. However
there is no doubt that the sense of hearing has a large impact in the space
experience as well. Sound is an important element in space perception and it
highly influences our daily life. Recently a rising interest in the acoustic
ecology has been noticed, which is defined as the study of the relationship
between human beings and their environment. Sound and acoustics affect the
human being experience in the space, in other words they play an important role
in how humans perceive the quality of an environment or a specific space. The aim
of this thesis is to investigate the quality of architectural space by engaging
the soundscape concept that contributes in creating enjoyable acoustic
environment for humans. Ultimately,
the question that can be posed is how then the soundscape approach can be used
to enhance the architectural space quality?

In order to go further in this research,
a quantitative method is going to be followed that will include surveys,
questionnaires and some statistical analysis to develop the topic.

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Human beings seek to create comfortable
indoor environments and spaces. Architects usually consider visual aspects such
as light, materials, and colors as the main elements to create comfortable
spaces. Although sound is invisible, but it has the power to change the space
characteristics we occupy (SCHULZ-DORNBURG, Julia, 2000). Space perception
includes the sense of hearing as well when experiencing a space, and plays a determinative
role in how individuals interact with their spatial environment. According to
Pallasmaa, “Sight isolates whereas sound incorporates; vision is directional,
whereas sound is omnidirectional. The sense of sight implies exteriority, but
sound creates an experience of interiority. I regard an object, but sound
approaches me; the eye reaches but the ear receives. Buildings do not react to
our gaze, but they do return our sounds back to our ears” (2005).

His perspective helps us understand how
sound can be a significant characteristic of architecture, which means that the
quality of an architectural space may be evaluated through the lens of sound. This
relation of sound and space will be investigated through the soundscape
concept. Soundscape approach was introduced by Schafer, a composer and a
scholar, who was concerned with the radical changes in the auditory environment
of modern society (Vermont, 1977). According to Schafer, the term “soundscape”
is defined as “the acoustic environment perceived or experienced and/or
understood by a person or people, in context” (2014). He also referred to the
soundscape as “an acoustic environment consisting of events heard, rather than
objects seen” (1997). With this regard, it can be said that the soundscape
approach is concerned with individuals’ or society’s understanding and
perception of the acoustic environment and the meaning associated with it,
rather than the sound energy (A.L. Brown, J. Kang, T. Gjestland, 2011).

Moreover, the sound present in the
architectural space needs to create an acoustic environment, and this acoustic
environment needs to be part of the architectural environment of the space (Rodríguez-Manzo,
et al. 2010). Therefore, sound diffusion is an opportunity that architects can
take to make acoustics visible contributing by this way to the architectural
quality of space. (Fausto E. et al. 2010).

To move on the definition of quality, it
is what is not expressible in quantitative terms and which concerns description,
while quantity indicates the thing itself considered from the point of view of
measurement (J. Dugué, 1995). In relation to sound, the concept of quality
changes from characterization of the rooms acoustics criteria to defining the
reception of these criteria by individuals. Since that every space has its own
unique sound environment; soundscapes, the underlying sound sources and the acoustical
requirement differences (K. Kitapci, S. Yilmazer, F. Erkip, 2007). These
requirements would vary and more complex in indoor spaces, since auditory
perception will differ due to the interfering factors such as building
geometries, finishing materials, activities and reverberation (B.
Schulte-fortkamp, A. Fiebig, 2006).

 Although,
many of the researches about soundscape concept that have been made before were
related to the urban environment and the city. These researches demonstrate the
relation between the soundscape and the overall quality of outdoor spaces. Some
studies for instance have applied the soundwalk
method in their researches. The different data extracted from the soundwalks
are examined in order to gather information about the relationship between the
urban characteristics, urban activities and the sound environment. The purpose
of this approach is to enable us to evaluate what is pleasant and relevant in
an urban sound environment in accordance with activities in the area (C. Semidor,
2006).

One of the examples is the ”Soundscape
research on the Gezi Park – Tunel Square route”, made by S. Bahal? and N. Tamer-Bayaz?t.
With a focus on four key locations (Gezi Park, Taksim Square, Galatasaray
Square, and Tunel Square), the aim of this research is to reveal the soundscape
characteristics of the Gezi Park – Tunel Square route multi-directionally, by
taking future studies into consideration and creating a basis for further
soundscape research on the same route (S. Bahal?, N. Tamer-Bayaz?t, 2017). Their
research was based on the “soundwalk method,” that links the Positive
Soundscape concept with Schafer’s World Soundscape. According to S. Bahal? and N.
Tamer-Bayaz?t in their study ”Soundwalks were applied in the research field by
silently walking along the route, and after the walk, questions about the
soundscape characteristics of the route and its perceptual features were
answered by the participants”. With the results of questionnaires, and by
means of semantic descriptors (which were used by participants to express the soundscapes
of key locations), soundscape characteristics on the route were discussed (S. Bahal?,
N. Tamer-Bayaz?t, 2017).

On the other hand, indoor spaces have
much more complex acoustical environments than outdoor spaces and any kind of
indoor space (metro stations, high schools, restaurants, opera-concert halls,
hospitals, etc.) should be involved in soundscape studies (Acun V, Yilmazer S.
2015). Despite this, research about the relation between indoor soundscape and
its effects on the indoor space and on individuals as well, is still lacking
and it needs to be investigated. Sound quality of a space depends on the
interaction of humans with that space. Researches in this context have revealed
that poor acoustical design in indoor spaces can highly affect humans
and their well-being, which affects backward the space quality. As the space
functions changes the users changes as well, which makes the different sound
source types varies in the environment. These
relationships could often be very complex and can have both short-term and
long-term impacts on individuals (Babisch, 2008; Fisk et al., 2007; Lewtas,
2007).  Liu and Kang (2016) expressed that individuals place value on
sounds not based on the sound itself or its physical properties but based on
the positive and negative behaviors associated with the sounds. Thus, the
potential role of the sound is highly important in order to create better
living and working conditions in any specific indoor.

 

The study area in this research will be appointed
to the architectural studio. The researches will focus on investigating the
impact of the acoustical environment of the architectural studio and its
impacts on architecture students’ performance or comfort level, which ultimately
will define the (good – bad) quality of the space.

 

A large range of literature was reviewed
in the same context, in order to go further in this study, many researches and
reviews of professors, architects, or psychologists will take place in this
thesis to investigate the influence of sound on indoors in relation to
architecture, specifically in the architectural studios in architectural faculties.

In order to develop the thesis research, quantitative methods are going
to be followed. Experimental approaches such as questionnaires, statistical
analysis, or sound recordings in the chosen study area in order to investigate
the acoustic environment through the soundscape approach and its influences on
the architecture students’ performance and their perception of the space
quality.