Master Thesis: Creating Sound Experiences as a Landscape Design Element for Increase the Value of Public Space

The aim of this master thesis is to investigate the methods for providing creative interaction between urban space and the dwellers by making sound installations and sound design in public spaces. The subjects which have been approached in the chapters are as such respectively: In the first chapter an entrance has been made to the thesis and the main reasons for this work was explained. In the second chapter,  main ‘soundscape’ notions has been explained in detail in order to understand the subject of ‘sonic experiences in public space’. In the third chapter, previous works of methods and guides in urban soundscape design was examined. In the forth chapter, The soundscape projects were examined which are installed or proposed and have a contribution to the usage of the public space actively and creatively; and  which he  aimed  the public spaces to be used actively and creatively; were examined.

It is aimed that the thesis would contribute to the literature about the possible usages of sound in landscape architecture, urban planning and architecture disciplines. That to be a reference guide for spatial sound design works in future. Also, it is aimed that to be a reference guide for sound-led artists, musicians and multimedia artists to make art installations in public spaces by understanding the design and organization of the spaces. Finally, this work is aimed to make a contribution to the acceptance of that the sonic interventions are as important as visual interventions in spatial design.

Nine open public space sound art / design case studies were examined according to their design objectives such as “noise treatment”, “aesthetics” and “supportive sound works”. Under these topics they were sub-categorized by objective, design approach, societal goal, method, technical method, relevant concept, relevant sound characteristic and outputs/ contributions to public space. The main reason to categorize the cases is to simplify the research process of further urban/landscape sound interventions by proposing a starting point.

The categorization method is proposed within the scope of the accumulation of the knowledge of the author of the thesis. The previous and further approaches and methods may be changed according to the needs, professions and preferences. Therefore, it is essential to emphasis that the proposed method is flexible and open-ended.

As a result of the thesis, it is understood that the main reason of effectiveness of the examined urban/landscape sound design works is their capacity to integrate the technical knowledge of sound and contemporary technology with the public open space design. Therefore, the access to this kind of knowledge and the possible technologies which can be integrated with sound and open public space should be made  more straightforward in order to ease the further design processes.

Furthermore, development of reference guides of technical sound concepts and contemporary technologies which specifically can be used as design tools in open public spaces would be very complementary with the urban/ landscape sound design methods, categorization methods and guidelines.