Let’s hear it for better sound

Looking down into a large open plan office with desks and partitions “Time to make a noise about better sound” says Julian Treasure, a sound expert from the UK. He says open plan offices and classrooms are detrimental to productivity and our health. In his article on the TechRadar website Julian claims that a noisy, open plan office can make people 66% less productive, and it has a detrimental effect on our stress levels and our mood. He says that acoustics affect the clarity of speech, yet architects fail to take this into consideration. Given that one in six people experience hearing loss this is an important factor. Apparently, adding music to the mix is only making it worse – Julian describes this as putting icing on mud – it doesn’t make it an edible cake. And now we are witnessing lots of people with ear buds and headsets. So what have we created with our designs? Read the article for more on the topic, and to find links to Julian’s TED talk video and his book.