Duke's Freshman Laundry Rooms: Improving Sonic Aesthetics

The laundry rooms of Duke University’s East Campus dorms are, you might agree, a curious kind of space.

We have agreed as a culture that the sounds of washing and drying machines are unwelcome additions to our residential soundscapes. Even after a century of industrial engineering, the automation of soaking, spinning, and drying clothes still generates a good deal of noise. Yet we insist on keeping clothes-cleaning technology inside of living spaces in the name of convenience. Our solution has been to quarantine these appliances, awarding them their own class of room: the laundry room[1]. Its sole sonic function is to capture and contain the sounds of washers and dryers.

Laundry rooms exist not just because the sounds of washers and dryers are considered unpleasant, but because they generally impede communication. In our world, rooms are most often built to facilitate verbal contact between occupants. Lecture halls carry an instructor’s voice clearly to the back row; dining areas allow for conversation across tables and sometimes to the kitchen; and so on. Laundry rooms are one of the few indoor areas not explicitly designed to house person-to-person interaction, since the aggressive cycling of its machines complicate such efforts.

The result is that little about the interior of a laundry room is acoustically designed. On East Campus, the sonic criteria appear to be minimal noise pollution in the adjoining hall, and none in dorm rooms. Outside of those constraints, practically no design effort seem to have been devoted to these spaces.

To demonstrate, let us look at Blackwell Residence Hall, among the newest of the East dorms. It features identical laundry rooms on either side of the ground floor, one of which is pictured below:



Looking into the Blackwell laundry room; Looking out; Behind the dryers.
Clockwise from top left: Looking into the Blackwell laundry room; Looking out; Behind the dryers.

A short T-shaped corridor leads from the main hallway into the laundry space, a painted white brick box in the style of most of the Blackwell rooms. There are certainly no carefully calculated geometries for redirecting or absorbing sound (unlike such Duke facilities as the Fitzpatrick Center’s Schiciano Auditorium). An ever-present pool of cloudy water surrounds the washing machine bases. Exposed HVAC equipment behind the dryers is clearly visible from the center of the room. In other words, the space has little cosmetic appeal. The laundry rooms of other East Campus dorms vary in their equipment orientations and dimensions, but share many of the same defining characteristics[2].

One can infer that the architects of this laundry room did not intend for individuals to occupy it for meaningful stretches of time. The interior decor speaks to this assumption even more than the lack of sonic design. The bare white walls and plainly visible single-dryer ventilation give the sense of an expressly utilitarian space, like the inside of a supply closet. A table is present for folding and tabletop storage, while a few chairs were brought in by students; in Blackwell, at least, seating was not present at the start of the academic year.

The added chairs help speak to the error on the part of the architect(s). Students actually occupy East Campus dorm laundry rooms for extended periods of time quite frequently. Though many residents choose to drop off their laundry and return for it later, some stay throughout the washing and/or drying cycles, typically socializing, doing schoolwork, or using their phones. The limited number of washers also means that people spend time there waiting for earlier loads to finish. All in all, the room gets quite crowded during Sunday night peak hours. Further traffic is generated by the vending machines, the only such ones in the building. It becomes clear upon reflection that the “standard” conception of a laundry room as a non-social space is not applicable to the dorms of East Campus.

As improvised social environments, then, Duke’s laundry rooms are deserving of more design consideration than they have been awarded. A gathering place should be both functional and pleasing for its occupants. In order to better suit the real manner in which these rooms are used, East Campus laundry rooms are due for an aesthetic upgrade.

One could apply a new coat of paint, cover up the HVAC guts, and claim mission accomplished. But dressing up a laundry room like any other common area is a generally poor resolution that offers no consideration to the space’s uniqueness. Far more integral to the identity of the laundry room than its appearance is its soundscape. If the room’s appeal is to be improved, introducing aesthetic value through sound seems fitting.

I speak here, in plain terms, of the creation of “laundry sound art.”

The idea of sound art can be odd to the unfamiliar. Sound is generally treated as having a functional rather than aesthetic role in everyday modern life, so non-musical sound is rarely considered a creative medium by the layperson. Yet ever since the advent of speaker systems, people have been electronically reintroducing audio to environments for artistic effect. The modern form of the movement is often cited as beginning at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, in which Le Corbusier’s Philips Pavilion (pictured) used a building-wide array of 450 loudspeakers to play Edgar Varèse’s “Poème électronique,” an experimental composition that weaved down the exhibition’s halls (Ouzounian 2008, 63).

Philips Pavilion, 1958 World’s Fair (Wikipedia)

Sound art has since become a global discipline of tremendous variety. Some installations use spatialization techniques similar to those of the Philips Pavilion, which allow for both a sound’s source and content to change dynamically. Others incorporate physical elements such as sonic sculpture or unconventional instruments to create novel soundscapes. Most sound art involves an element of spontaneity and participation. The idea that the final soundscape arises from unpredictable relationships between the installation and its environment (including human participants) helps differentiate sound art from related fields like experimental music composition[3].

Laundry rooms seem to be ideal spaces in which to install sound art. Since the interiors of the rooms have no sonic function by design, their acoustic modification is limited only by what can be realized in practice. It is important to note that in sound art, such a situation is very much the exception rather than the norm. An Australian sound artist, Jordan Lacey, writes that “a number of multi-speaker soundscape systems in Melbourne have been unsuccessful due to negative public reactions. The successful soundscape systems … are located in transitory spaces, particularly spaces with minimal social presence” (2014, 10). He explains that sound art installations are often considered disruptive to a place’s intended sonic function. In populous or public spaces, sound art can invite the ill will of listeners rather than their appreciation by interrupting or masking public programming (announcements, scheduled events, etc.). The venue of a communal laundry room stands apart from the public spaces in which sound art is often installed, offering prospective sound artists a unique opportunity to experiment without fear of backlash. 

The set-up of the Blackwell laundry room in particular lends itself well to sonic design. While these rooms must by design contain loud laundry equipment, their actual presence is far from overpowering. Even when two or three machines are running, conversation is possible at a slightly-above-average speaking volume. This can be attributed to sound reduction features of the Speed Queen equipment such as platform-elevated bases and warped concave washer portholes (clear front panels). The constant hum of the two drink machines quickly attunes occupants to a higher noise level, making the washers and dryers seem quieter in comparison. The space is not saturated with sound; there exists room to introduce new sonic characteristics without creating a low-fi space unfit for social gathering. 

The idea of striated versus rhythmic sound is useful when considering this soundscape. Striated sounds are steady-state, “emerg[ing] from the drones, buzzes and hums of artifacts such as climate-control outlets, fluorescent lighting and power boxes” (Lacey 2014, 8). Rhythmic sound, on the other hand, has patterned qualities relating to change and repetition. In East Campus laundry rooms, the rhythms created by washers and dryers play off one another while the cooling systems of the drink dispensers fill the room with a constant striated element. Unpredictable dynamics among the rhythmic appliances arise from the multi-phase cycles of the campus’s washers and dryers.

Understanding the laundry room space’s real use patterns, its context within the field of sound art, and the nature of its incidental soundscape all directly inform the creative process. The goal has been to create a more enjoyable experience for those using the facility through introducing novel sound objects that prompt consideration of the room’s unique soundscape. Even noticing the installation’s presence might inspire, at least temporarily, a greater attentiveness to one’s aural environment. In a world where we spend much of our time unconsciously “tuning out” polluted or lo-fi soundscapes, any such inspiration is welcome. Barring that, this work may simply add a new and interesting element to the otherwise dull chore of doing laundry.


My methodology behind creating sound art is grounded in the recording, modification, and reintroduction of the laundry room’s original sounds. This is a common technique used by many documented sound artists, among them Lacey and Klein, as it helps ensure that the recording will be compatible with the natural soundscape. Lacey takes this to the extreme and refuses to use any nonnative sounds whatsoever in his works. My own approach is less dogmatic, instead using modified indigenous sounds as a template for the recording, over which other audio can be mixed in.

In conceptualizing how native sounds could be adapted to improve the space, it was important to be aware of how listeners might evaluate the changes. It turns out that a sound object or soundscape’s emotional impact is driven by two main qualities: Calmness and Vibrancy. (See Cain & Jennings 233-4 for more on how these two descriptors are distilled from a range of semantic rating scales). This is a useful simplification when determining the general trend of the sound art design. As the busy machinery of laundry rooms already creates a vibrant atmosphere, introduced sound should then aim to increase the room’s perceived calmness[4]

Another researcher, Jochen Steffens, has specifically studied how we perceive the sounds of appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators. His research suggests that increasingly integrated sonic environments in the home (i.e. without undue focus on one element) are perceived as more pleasant by occupants (2013, 4). This makes sense when considering the Blackwell laundry room. The striated sound of the drink dispensers establishes a cohesive element that, in comparison, makes the laundry appliances sound far less abrasive than if they operated without background noise. The reintroduced sound should then also have a permanent striated component, though one with the potential to be more pleasant-sounding than the vending machines[5].


Sound samples from the Blackwell laundry room were obtained via audio gear courtesy of Professor David Font-Navarrete. A Zoom H4n Handy Recorder featuring unidirectional stereo microphones was used to capture sounds through the air. Contact mics by JrF, connected to the Zoom handset, allowed for a different kind of listening; when pressed against various points of the washers and dryers, the machines’ internal workings (of a very different character than their naturally audible emissions) were recorded. Most unique among the audio equipment used was JrF’s induction coil pick-up, which translates electrical signals into sound.

Placement of the contact mics on the washing machines, while in part trial-and-error, was informed by a study on the spatial breakdown of washing machine sound emission. A group of Italian mechanical engineers used high-fidelity audio mapping technology to generate figures (shown below) detailing the major locations on a washing machine that produce noise. The color scale identifies areas of particular interest as the soap drawer (upper left), the porthole rim, and the base.


Sound pressure level (SPL) maps showing the loudness of three major emitted frequencies across the front of a laundry machine (Chiariotti 2010, 1362).

Since the researchers decline to report the make and model of their test machine, these SPL maps were used only as a general reference for how East Campus machines might emit sound. Even so, the suggested locations — especially the porthole rim and soap drawer — offered the best recordings in terms of clarity[6]Over multiple days a range of sounds was collected by combining different microphone placements and cycle stages.

Only one loudspeaker, a 280-watt Alto TX8, was used to reintroduce sounds. Multi-speaker arrays, especially with omnidirectional speakers, would have generated a more fully immersive soundscape but posed a financial and technical challenge. The single-speaker model, however, was far from dissatisfactory. The TX8 was situated directly across the room from the vending machines to spatially balance the room’s sources of striated sound, in line with Steffens’ findings on establishing cohesive-feeling environments. 280 watts proved more than loud enough for the small space.

Audacity was used for audio editing. Non-native clips were sourced from media-sharing sites such as Freesound and YouTube. A full list of outside sources used in audio production can be found under Additional Design Materials


(headphones recommended)

The pre-recorded part of the installation is comprised of four tracks, each of which are about five minutes long. These are repeated in shuffled order and played back through the TX8 from alongside the lone upright dryer. The laundry room’s soundscape at any given time is a combination of a randomly selected track, the sounds of the machines operational at the time, and the actions of Blackwell residents.

Each track is built from the same basic template: an altered version of the drink dispensers’ striated hum, which is then superimposed with native and non-native sound objects. The original drone was modified to slowly oscillate between left and right output channels. Reverb, echo, and other such manipulations were also introduced. In the background is a Shepard tone, a popular audio illusion that seems to continuously ascend or descend in pitch. The striated template oscillates between ascending and descending tones at half the frequency that the drink dispenser sound spatially shifts. The final mix, upon listening, resembles the original mechanical hum with a somewhat surreal added element.


1.  “Blackwell Laundry: Organic”

Central to this track are the pulsating heartbeats that fade in and out, bending in pitch and tempo. The manipulations to these rhythms can seem surreal to attentive listeners, much like the Shepard tone. Two heartbeats taken from Freesound are synthetic, generated in part by bass drum synthesizers (though one also uses a Tupperware lid); another is a recording of a real human heartbeat. Less pronounced are the crickets and birds in the background. 

Despite the track’s underlying theme of organic processes and systems, it is still a primarily electronic, repetitive piece. In keeping with Steffens’ suggestions, this maintains continuity across the laundry room space by matching the mechanical character of appliance sounds. The low-frequency heartbeat invites attention and engagement from listeners without having a large sonic presence into the space. Many parts of this track, clearly audible through headphones, are easily missed when multiple appliances are running; it is best suited to a quieter room. Though the tracks are shuffled, the ordering symbolizes how “Organic” is an easy, inoffensive point at which unsuspecting listeners can first engage with the exhibit — perhaps without even realizing it.  

2. “Blackwell Laundry: Rhythmic”

This track explores rhythmic interplays between the room’s native sound objects and other markedly repetitive beats. Asynchronous tempos within the recording are emphasized, which then further contrast with the real-world appliances’ changing cycles. Shifting in the background are Freesound-sourced samples of simple world rhythms. One also hears a washer going through different cycle stages, artificially sped up and slowed down. (The clip used was taken with contact microphones on the washer’s soap drawer and center porthole.)

Each rhythm fades in and out such that the piece’s individual components, though asynchronous, do not overwhelm one another or the listener. This is not an especially “busy” composition, and fits well within the laundry room soundscape with one or two machines running in compliment. Though lower in Calmness by the Cain-Jennings ratings than may be preferable[4], its steady and varied rhythms compliment the native sounds of the cycling washers and dryers. In doing so, “Rhythmic” establishes cohesiveness throughout the soundscape while still introducing new elements to engage listeners.

3. “Blackwell Laundry: Meditative

I came across a recording of a flute being played under the dome of the Taj Mahal, which can sustain a note for up to 28 seconds as a result of its size and geometries. Jazz flutist Paul Horn’s on-site improv playing consists of short groupings of notes that reverberate and fade in a dramatic fashion. These were excerpted and included in “Meditative” with few added effects. Horn’s playing style served as general creative inspiration; other similarly sustained tones arising from bells and chimes are also used. Sounds of water and rain provide a backdrop for the higher-pitched interjections. The artful soft synthesizer work of Marconi Union in “Weightless,” designed to help one fall asleep, plays at low volume in the background at times to establish a “fuller” space.

As the title suggests, the nonnative sounds in this piece possess a meditative or etherial character. This theme rather clashes with the artificial/mechanical environment of the laundry room; the fact that no native sounds were reintroduced beyond the original template furthers this contrast. Of the four discussed here, this track draws the most immediate attention and interest from listeners. Mid-high-pitched sounds are particularly noticeable to the human ear; contrast this with “Organic,” where bass-heavy heartbeats can go entirely undetected in a busier soundscape.

4. “Blackwell Laundry: Electronic”

Recordings made using the induction coil pick-up are featured prominently in “Electronic.” More specifically, I included segments of three separate takes in which the coil slowly “explored” the mechanical equipment of the laundry room. Striated audio was picked up from within a few inches of current-carrying surfaces. There is also a shortened recording of an empty washing machine’s cold cycle via the Zoom handset, which was cut in Audacity to emphasize the points at which the cycles changed. Additional contact microphone recordings used were taken from the washing machine’s soap drawer, front panel (beeping sound), and top. 

This track closely fits with the Blackwell laundry room’s natural soundscape, having been built entirely from native sound objects (very much unlike “Meditative”). However, it features somewhat less emphasis on rhythmic contrast than the first two tracks. Distinctly rhythmic sound objects like the washing machine recordings tend not to conflict with one another, while the longer tones of the induction coil blend more with the background template than with rhythmic recordings. The unsteady wavering of the induction coil audio is at a markedly higher frequency than the template’s oscillations, which changes the character of the room’s striated element.

The end of “Electronic” consists of two minutes of the isolated background template. This introduces some additional space into the four-track loop in which the listener is not constantly having to identify new excerpted sound objects. I considered including this “gap” as a separate fifth track in order to offer it greater independence of arrangement, but eventually decided to include it with “Electronic” in keeping with the idea of themed tracks.

The installation took place over the course of three evenings in early December 2015. A sign posted on the wall notified laundry-goers that a collection of audio tracks was being played as part of a research project, but listeners were otherwise uninformed as to the nature of the exhibit. I was present for the full duration to observe reactions, answer questions, and troubleshoot hardware. The set of four shuffled tracks was played uninterrupted for between one and two hours on each occasion[7]

Audibility of the reintroduced audio was highly dependent on the laundry appliances in use. The loudspeaker’s volume was set such that a listener in the center of the room would experience the background “template” of the tracks as equal in volume to the striated tone of the drink dispenser. This meant that during the most intense periods of washing/drying cycles, especially when these phases aligned in multiple machines, few interesting features of the reintroduced tracks could be detected. Indeed, both the drink dispenser hum and audio installation could be entirely overpowered by simultaneous high-frequency appliance activity from two or more machines. However, it became clear that the Speed Queen appliances rarely maintain these fully excited states for over a minute at a time. This lead to an interesting dynamic within the room as the soundscape constantly shifted between a traditional high-volume laundry environment and a calmer state featuring markedly unnatural sounds.

I originally experimented with using survey-style feedback to gauge audience sentiment. However, the casual and intimate nature of the dorm environment meant that residents responded best to general qualitative discussions about the exhibition. I thus gauged opinion of the new soundscape through talking about the installation with those who stayed in the laundry room for longer than one uninterrupted minute. This was done either upon prompting (directly being asked about the research) or, barring that, engaging residents when they motioned to leave the room. Common lines of conversation included the project’s inspiration, technical and creative methods behind composing the tracks, and the broader field of sound art.

As peers and dorm-mates of mine, the Blackwell residents were willing to discuss their reactions to the installation at length. A total of forty to fifty people spent time in the laundry room during the exhibition period, all of whom offered their opinions and observations. Social factors may have had some impact on their responses, but certainly not so much as to render feedback fundamentally untrustworthy.

When first encountering the soundscape, most listeners reported a degree of confusion or uncertainty, the severity of which correlated with the perceptibility of nonnative sound objects at the time. (As the very impetus for the design philosophy of Lacey et al, this can be reasonably expected; the human ear quickly identifies the sounds of wind chimes, world drums, and the like as fundamentally out-of-place in the laundry room, unintrusively mixed as they may be.) Residents entering the room during high-volume periods became gradually aware of the reintroduced audio as the noise level fell, offering interesting and varied reactions. One student loading a washer, unaware of the exhibit’s presence, was noticeably disconcerted as the asynchronous heartbeats near the end of “Organic” became audible, even briefly checking his own pulse.

After identifying the installation through either the loudspeaker or posted sign, the majority of people immediately asked for more detailed information about the project. This discussion was usually followed by additional time spent listening in silence, if appliance activity and social circumstances allowed. However, some residents delayed in their inquiries, opting to listen intently of their own accord — sometimes for up to a few minutes. Such unprompted close listening was observed multiple times per day, a proper realization of my aim to inspire greater awareness and appreciation of one’s aural surroundings. 

Residents most often identified the character of the reintroduced sounds as “interesting” and “surreal.” A common description was that the room sounded “strange, but not unpleasant.” This was in large part due to the loudspeaker’s well-balanced volume level; further amplification, upon experimentation, immediately produced an unbalanced environment in which the tracks compete against the laundry appliances for sonic space instead of existing in compliment. Some people reported an altered sense of physical space  the room seeming larger or smaller  — though the perceptions themselves were inconsistent. Few residents stayed for more than one or two full tracks, and thus were unable to compare different compositions. However, each confirmed that he or she had spent a “greater than usual” amount of time in the laundry room engaging with the installation.

In Conclusion

Anthropologists, by their own admission, have “largely treated the work of sound artists as tangental to their enterprise,” claiming that the creative manipulation of recordings offers little in terms of compelling “ethnographic argument” (Samuels et al. 2010, 334). I contest this evaluation in respect to the piece discussed here. While the experimental music tracks may not be useful objects of study in isolation, field recordings of an entire sound art installation can be rich material for sociocultural analysis[7]. Specifically, the audience’s involvement in sound art can demonstrate their ethnographic realities. This exhibition is linked to a major component of modern Western life; the Blackwell residents react and change their behavior towards the laundry room as a direct result of the altered soundscape, in turn indicating their relationships with the space. Our demonstrated inattention to general ambient aural stimulus is one such example.

But discerning greater sociocultural truths about Duke’s undergraduate life is not the main purpose of this work (though the prospect may attract the attention of otherwise indifferent anthropologists). This was, first and foremost, an exercise in design. In sonically renovating this staple of residential life, I aimed to introduce real and appreciable aesthetic value into an unconventional social space. Though I succeeded to an extent, the potential for more advanced expressions of sonic creativity in laundry rooms remains enormous. One can imagine an endless variety of similarly “themed” tracks: Aquatic, Choral, Tropical, or Industrial, to name a few. Audio could be reintroduced through more sophisticated speaker installations, possibly employing Philips Pavilion-style spatialization methods. The venue could also be changed to other Duke dorms, and even non-Duke residential laundry rooms with similar use patterns.

Sound art in this vein may even inspire listeners to consider the broader role of sonic design in their lives. Reintroducing non-musical sound into everyday environments, where appropriate, clearly has the potential to enrich routine or otherwise unremarkable experiences. I achieved this here through fairly rudimentary design methods; there is clear potential for incorporating more advanced analytics into the process. In time, I suspect, progress in psychoacoustics and audio design could lead to enhanced ambient soundscapes being installed in commercial spaces — even as a means to subconsciously drive customer behavior.

But nefarious predictions aside, laundry rooms: curious spaces, no?



[1] Some, notably the British, shorten this to “laundry”; the longer title is used here in keeping with North American custom.

[2] The makes & models of the Blackwell laundry room machines are as follows: Washers: Speed Queen Ultra High Efficiency Commercial Washer (Custom) x 4; Dryers: Speed Queen Commercial Dryer (Custom) Stacked x 4, Standing x 1; 2 IntelleVend 2000 beverage dispensers; and 1 Automatic Products 932 Premier vending machine (more or less silent). To my knowledge, Speed Queen appliances are common to all East Campus laundry rooms, though not all feature snack or drink machines.

[3] The distinctions between music and sound art are heavily disputed among the ranks of academics and creative professionals. For one explicitly defined system, one might refer to Batchelor’s “Acousmatic Approaches to the Construction of Image and Space in Sound Art.” Defining/categorizing art is a tricky business, and, in my view, more of a semantic exercise than a path to deeper understanding or appreciation.

[4] Cain & Jennings use a 2D coordinate map to plot Calmness and Vibrancy against each other, a thought-provoking way of representing a space’s real impact.

[5] Steffens also offers interesting and highly specific data on laundry equipment, even breaking down the analysis of washing machine sound by spin vs. wash cycle.

[6] Check out this Sonic Dictionary entry of a Blackwell washing machine running a warm water cycle with four coins inside. It was taken with both the Zoom handset’s unidirectional mics and the contact microphones.

[7] Since live recordings of the installation prominently feature intelligible conversation between the room’s occupants, the audio file is not included here out of consideration for privacy.

Works Cited 

Baer, Kyle. “Washing Machine (Hot Water Cycle) & Quarters,” Sonic Dictionary, wav file, recorded November 11, 2015. http://sonicdictionary.fhi.duke.edu/admin/items/show/552

Batchelor, Peter. 2015. “Acousmatic Approaches to the Construction of Image and Space in Sound Art.” Organised Sound 20: 148-59.

Cain, Rebecca, Paul Jennings, and John Poxon. 2013. “The Development and Application of the Emotional Dimensions of a Soundscape.” Applied Acoustics 74 (2): 232-9.

Chiariotti, Paolo. 2010. “Noise Source Localization on Washing Machines by Conformal Array Technique & Near Field Acoustic Holography.” SAE Technical Paper Series 0148-7191: 1.

“DAMAGE (Dave Brown and Misha Mross) – Beach Ball @ Sound Art Forum.” 2009. YouTube video, 1:45, from Cornell University’s Spring 2007 Sound Art Forum. Posted by “Cornell Electroacoustic.” 27 August. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0kiBPakDsA

“Fifth Annual ‘Envisioning the Invisible’ Image and Photo contest at Fitzpatrick Center Schiciano Auditorium.” Duke Chronicle Photography online image, published 2010. Duke Student Publishing. http://dukechronicle.photoshelter.com/image/I0000PhWLSjugHPE 

Klein, Georg. 2009. “Site-Sounds: On Strategies of Sound Art in Public Space.” Organised Sound 14:101-08.

Lacey, Jordan. 2014. “Site-Specific Soundscape Design for the Creation of Sonic Architectures and the Emergent Voices of Buildings.” Buildings 4 (1): 1-24.

Licht, Alan. 2009. “Sound Art: Origins, development and ambiguities.” Organised Sound 14: 3-10.

Ouzounian, Gascia. “Sound Art and Spatial Practices: Situating Sound Installation Art since 1958.” (PhD diss., University of California, San Diego, 2008).

“Philips Pavilion at Time of Exhibition,” Wikipedia in-article image, updated 2015. Wikimedia. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/Expo58_building_Philips.jpg

Samuels, David W., Louise Meintjes, Ana Maria Ochoa, and Thomas Porcello. 2010. “Soundscapes: Towards a Sounded Anthropology.” Annual Review of Anthropology 39: 329–45. 

Steffens, Jochen. 2013. Realism and Ecological Validity of Sound Quality Experiments on Household Appliances. AIA-DAGA Conference on Acoustics. Milan.

Additional Design Materials

Crickets  —  Heartbeat (Synthetic 1)  —  Heartbeat (Synthetic 2)  —  Heartbeat (Human)   —  Light Rainfall   —  Mountain Birds   —  “Prologue/Inside,” from Inside (the Taj Mahal) by Paul Horn  —  Tibetan Bells  —  Wind Chimes  —  Shepard Tone (Up)  —  Shepard Tone (Down)  —  Synth Warped Garden Chimes   —  “Weightless” by Marconi Union


Blackwell Laundry Room Drink Dispenser (Unedited)  —  Laundry Sound Art Template  —  “Blackwell Laundry: Organic”  —  “Blackwell Laundry: Rhythmic”  —  “Blackwell Laundry: Meditative”  —  “Blackwell Laundry: Electronic”


Zoom H4n Handset Recorder  —  Contact Microphones by JrL   —  Induction Coil Pickup by JrL  —  Alto TX8 Loudspeaker