Soundscape design for hospitals

International Sound Award Podcast” recently published a statement of Anttio Ikonen – a composer, sound designer i and lecturer, responsible for students soundscape project for Helsinki New Children’s Hospital. In podcast Ikonen talks about obvious connections with acoustic ecology and he also describes the proces of creating acoustic experience for hospital personnel. It required resignation from obvious and simple solutions (such as using loudspeakers playing looped music from mp3 files) and creating computer ambient generator, which is collecting and mixing sounds in the way that makes them create audible identity of certain space, depending also on time of the day. It’s one of a kind audiokaleidoscope, which creates new colorful sound patterns made of musical particles such as recordings of nature sounds, melodical excerpts and synthetiser.

We can listen to the result of this orchestration in the background of the podcast, and on the Aalto University website see how the individual floors of the hospital were sounded. The composer also shares interesting facts from the project implementation process itself, such as the possibility of weekly testing of sounds in an empty hospital space before it is made available to patients and doctors. We recommend a virtual sound walk.