While acoustic architecture focuses primarily on the acoustic physics of objects and geometries, aural architecture emphasizes the experience of space in terms of behavior and emotions. Because auditory spatial awareness, which is the basis for aural architecture, depends on a social value system, the role of acoustics varies among individuals and cultures. When evaluating the aural experience of space, two independent phenomena must be simultaneously considered: Space changes our experience of sound and sound changes our experience of space. Sound sources and spatial acoustics are inseparable. This bilateralism creates an interdisciplinary complexity that fuses physical and social sciences. Hearing is a means by which people acquire a sense of where they are, connecting them to dynamic events and spatial geometry. Auditory spatial awareness allows people to sense the elegance of a plush office, the emptiness of an uninhabited house, the depth of a dark cave, the quiet of a city covered in snow, the vastness of a railroad station, and the openness of a beach front. Each of these situations can be described in the language of aural architecture, which includes at least five types of experiential spatiality: navigational, social, aesthetic, symbolic, and musical.
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Barry Blesser; Aural architecture: The missing link.. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 October 2008; 124 (4_Supplement): 2525. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4782966
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