Hearing Spaces


I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while. In the world of virtual design and virtual environments we have recapitulated some bad habits from the history of architecture around giving primacy to the image. Our environements are about a lot more than what we can see, as a new book makes clear:

Spaces Speak, Are You Listening: book overview

The audible attributes of physical space have always contributed to the fabric of human culture, as demonstrated by prehistoric multimedia cave paintings, classical Greek open-air theaters, Gothic cathedrals, acoustic geography of French villages, modern music reproduction, and virtual spaces in home theaters. Auditory spatial awareness is a prism that reveals a culture’s attitudes toward hearing and space. Some listeners can learn to “see” objects with their ears, but even without training, we can all hear spatial geometry such as an open door or low ceiling.

I haven’t read the book, but I look forward to checking it out!

(Also, check out the book’s site at:

2 Responses to Hearing Spaces

  1. More information about aural architecture and auditory spatial awareness can be found at This site also has a collection of samples from the book, articles, podcasts, reviews, and ancillary material on related subjects.

  2. Thanks for the link Barry. I’ve added it to the main part of the post!

    — David

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