Next Friday, postdoctoral researcher Karla Berrens, who has recently joined CRIT, is presenting her work “Sound Discomfort and the making of place in a urban environment“.
This paper explores alternative ways of hearing and inhabiting space in an urban environment in Barcelona. In the last three years I have closely worked with two associations of people with diverse functionality, in the spectrum of blindness and deaf-blindness respectively. I have explored the notions of nosiception and comfort as well as their reflection on the making of place. In what ways does experiencing pain or discomfort from the urban ambiance constraint the experience one has of the city? What can the city do in order to really work for all its inhabitants in sensory terms? In this paper, I dwell on the participatory fieldwork carried in order to propose what kind of adjustments in urban design (technological or else) may aid to better accommodate diversity in hearing. I conclude with an argument for evolving cities towards the idea of the city being for every person instead of the flattening that the homogenisation in their development has had.
Keywords: hearing, nosiception, city, ambiance, diverse functionality