Tunescape

With the development of Soundscape studies, the knowledge of the sonic environment keeps going into those dimensions related to semantics, aesthetics and culture, usually neglected, in practice, by local governments. Following this multidisciplinary approach, we can think of systematic researches on the sonic environment and its interrelations with the urban system, to deeply understand such a complex phenomenon, respecting its multidimensional nature. However, a real integration of knowledge deep-rooted in different scientific traditions is still missing, in the same way a dialogue between researchers, decision-makers and city-dwellers is lacking, splitting the problem up into many partial visions.

In an ecological design perspective, getting a complete picture becomes fundamental and this challenge, currently orienting research trends, opens up also to Communication: it is then worth focusing on representing the relations between the qualitative dimensions of sonic phenomena – with a look at the city-dweller, as a reference in orienting research as well as environmental and territorial development policies.

The purpose is creating a digital tool (web platform) for the Soundscape researchers, to collect many multidisciplinary contributions and encourage the integration of knowledge of different urban systems, offering a first contact with the complementary visions of decision-makers and city-dwellers. Institutional data and observations from a field study in Milan made the ground for the project and the experimentation in visualization: combining visual variables with the potentialities of digital artifacts, a coherent system was created, useful to model the dynamics of any sonic environment and its elements, properties and effects, already largely studied. Hence, the name of the instrument: Tunescape – a panorama of patterns and dynamics of sound phenomena in urban context and of the (missed) syntonies of what the soundscape is and what it should be (according to different users). The digital artifact containing this model will let the researcher, through filters and editing tools, navigate inside a hypothetical database and insert his own contribution, enlarging the field of the Soundscape studies.