In all “Aural architecture contains at least five types of spatiality:
navigational, social, musical, aesthetic, and symbolic.”
“Navigational spatiality is the ability to use auditory spatial awareness to visualize a space in order to navigate around objects and geometries.” For example, blind people whose sense of hearing are heightened and that what’s they use to move through a space, it is said we can all navigate a room in the dark just by our sense of hearing.
“Social spatiality refers to the way spatial acoustics influences the
behaviour of the inhabitants.”
It is said that people are much more comfortable when the space that they are inhibiting matches the appropriate social distance, nothing should be too far away, everything should be within range.
Think of the following “we have all attended parties where the space is so noisy that our social acoustic arena does not even include the person
standing next to us. Alternatively, a guest laughing loudly may have an arena that includes the entire house.”
“Symbolic spatiality refers to those aural attributes that have acquired additional meaning by being associated with specific activities occurring within particular spaces. ”
As stated previously think about the feeling of being in an immense
cathedral and its unique acoustics that can bring forth great emotions,
whilst also acquiring religious symbolism, you’re in that space for religious purposes, it has a deeper meaning to you.
“Aesthetic spatiality refers to the experience of localized acoustics that
provide varying auditory texture and variety.
For example, the domed ceiling in one region of a corridor at the Houston airport provides a surprising experience while walking through the space. Momentarily, the echoes of footsteps appear and then suddenly disappear. The sudden change in local acoustics creates a sense of a textured space, like a change in colour or lighting.”
“Music spatiality refers to the influence of the acoustics of a space on the music performed within that space, which is composed of two primary attributes: temporal spreading and spatial spreading.”
Spatial reverberation plays a huge role in this part, it changes the time
structure of music by extending all the time span of all the musical notes, and It also
“transforms a musical note located on stage into enveloping reverberation that embeds the listener in ocean of sound that has no apparent location. From a biological and evolutionary perspective, our binaural ability to localize prey and predator had important survival value. Conversely, the inability to localize would have produced increased anxiety, awareness, and arousal.”
Aural architecture and it five demonstrations of its spatiality, shows us how the collaboration of sound and space can have a massive influence on human emotions, behaviour and our overall experience in a space.