Sound Museums: Designing for Inclusion, Wellbeing and Community

28 June 2024

1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Rooms AG08 and AG09, College Building, St John Street, London EC1V 4PB


In partnership with CharcoalblueApex Acoustics, the Institute of Acoustics and SPARC (Sound, Practice & Research at City).

All welcome and free to attend.

Sign up requested for planning purposes: https://www.city.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/2024/june/sound-museums-designing-for-inclusion-wellbeing-and-community

To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Institute of Acoustics, we are celebrating the intersection of Acoustics, Soundscapes and Heritage.  ‘Legacies of Sound: Past, Present and Future of Museums’ Soundscapes’ is a two-part event that aims to reimagine the soundscape of museums.

Part 1 will be hosted by Apex Acoustics in Newcastle (hybrid event) on Wednesday 26th June 2024 (details to follow).

Part 2 will be held at City, University of London on Friday 28th June 2024. https://www.city.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/2024/june/sound-museums-designing-for-inclusion-wellbeing-and-community

Speakers on 28th June to include: Emily Bradfield (Fitzwilliam Museum), Shane Cryer (Ecophon), Angus Deuchars (ARUP), Alison Eardley (The Sensational Museum), Aimee Fletcher (University of Glasgow), Esther Fox (Accentuate/Screen South), Milo Fox (Charcoalblue), Ruth Garde (Curating Visibility), Jean Hewitt (Buro Happold), Rebecca Romeo Pitone (Apex Acoustics), Peter Rogers (Sustainable Acoustics), Charlotte Slark (The Sensational Museum), Fiona Slater (Science Museum). Full schedule to follow by mid-May.

There has been a growing interest in recent years in the aesthetic soundscapes of public architecture beyond questions of structural acoustics and environmental noise management. This has emerged from an increased awareness of the importance of sound (and sensory environments more generally) in the production of public space, and in generating affective connections between people and place. Parallel to this have been increasingly urgent discussions around access and inclusivity.

Museums have also become increasingly attentive to the role and potential of sound, both within curated exhibition spaces and in other public areas. Sound clearly has the capacity to shape spaces, to trigger different modes of spatial relations and to connect visitors to exhibitions in very emotive ways. At the same time, sound can create exclusions, for instance in relation to sensory overload or feelings of not ‘belonging’ in a space.

As part of the AHRC funded project ‘Place-making Through Sound: Designing for Inclusivity and Wellbeing’ (2023-24), hosted by theatre and acoustics consultancy Charcoalblue, this half-day event will explore current practice around sonic justice and sound as an agent of inclusion and wellbeing, addressing a range of issues including neuro-inclusion, cultural belonging, and soundscapes approaches to space and exhibition design.

The event is aimed at anyone interested in sound in museums and questions of equity and access. Speakers will include curators, acousticians, access and equity staff and advocates, as well as others working more broadly in the museum sector.

Please direct enquiries to: Laudan Nooshin (l.nooshin@city.ac.uk)

Posted on 30th April 2024 in Events