Undergraduate Degree




DM200​5 Soundscape Design

[Studio Contact Hours: 39 hours; Pre-requisites: NIL; Academic Unit: 3.0]




Academic Unit


3 AU

Course Description


Learning Objective

This course is an introduction to soundscape design as a primary means for how we perceive spaces and remember places. It discusses principles of sound perception, acoustic ecology, urban soundscapes, and acoustics. Students learn skills in field audio recording and acoustic measurement, and work creatively with modifying existing, real soundscapes with various sound diffusion systems.


The course is a platform for exploring soundscapes as a field of research and creative design. It aims to train listening awareness and strategies, and sensibilities towards the nuances of a broad range of real sonic environments. Recording, analysing, modifying and creating soundscapes in projects defined and driven by the students are an essential part to the course.

Course Outline




• Intro to course

2 - 6

• "Ear Cleaning"

• Field recording and acoustic measurements

• Urban and rural soundscapes

• Field recording and loudness measurements


• Mid Sem review of assignments

8 - 12

• Room acoustics

• Psychoacoustics

• Loudspeakers and surround sound

• Modifying real soundscapes


• Final review of assignments

Learning Outcome

On completion of this course students will have developed skills in listening, field recording, loudness measurements, and sound diffusion. They will have acquired a basic understanding of acoustic ecology, acoustics and psychoacoustics, a working knowledge of relevant terminology, and an understanding of practices and aesthetics of soundscape design.

Student Assessment

  1. Assignment 1 (15%): Investigating a real Sonic Environment

  2. Assignment 2 (20%): Writing about a Soundscape-related topic

  3. Assignment 3 (25%): (Re-)designing a Sonic Environment

  4. Continuous Assessment: 40%

Continuous assessment is based on in-class activities with the following components :

  • Student-initiated activity in group discussions

  • Effective leading and following in group work situations

  • Evidence of contribution to classmates' development and work


  1. Cummings, Jim (2001). “Listen Up: Opening Our Ears to Acoustic Ecology”. Zoogoer July/August 2001 andhttp://www.acousticecology.org/writings/listenup.html

  2. Lindborg, PerMagnus & Koh, Joyce Beetuan (2011). “MULTI-DIMENSIONAL SPATIAL SOUND DESIGN FOR ‘ON THE STRING"

  3. Lucier, Alvin (1969). I am sitting in a room. [CD]

  4. Lumsdaine, David. (1995). Australiansoundscapes. [CD].

  5. Monacchi, David (2009). Eco-Acoustic Compositions. [CD]

  6. Monacchi, David ​(2009). Eco-Acoustic Compositions. http://www.earthear.com/docs/ecoacoustic_booklet.pdf

  7. Nilsson, Mats (2007). Soundscape quality in urban open spaces.

  8. Samkopf, Kjell (1994). Mårådalen Walk. [CD]

  9. Schafer, R. Murray (1977). The Tuning of the World. Random House ISBN0394409663

  10. The Acoustic Ecology Institute: http://www.acousticecology.org/

  11. Truax, Barry (2001). Acoustic Communication. Ablex Publishing Corporation. Norwood, New Jersey.

  12. World Forum for Acoustic Ecology: http://interact.uoregon.edu/MediaLit/WFAE/home

DISCLAIMER. The present document is for orientation purposes only and does not in any way constitute a binding agreement. The lecturer maintains the right to change any part herein without prior notice or written justification if deemed advantageous to the course or for any other reason.