PHILOSOPHY \\ For years, the driving force behind modern architecture and interior design has been light. As spaces become larger, colder and brighter, the attention paid to creating a pleasant acoustic environment falls. Though the habitants may feel more relaxed, listening to music, TV, or even talking in a bad acoustic environment forces the brain to interpret potentially thousands more signals than it should. The effect may not be noticeable to an untrained ear, but these additional sound waves pile pressure onto our auditory systems, forcing our brains to work harder than they should. This is why good treatment in any social environment is paramount.
The evolution of the living room perfectly highlights how society has backtracked on room acoustics over the last few decades - In the 1990's, the UK was full of well-treated living rooms: big fabric sofas, thick carpet and textured wallpapers. Though society may not have been paying attention to the sonic aspect of the trends, subconsciously at least, these provided significantly better social environments for the occupants. As we move through the next 2 decades, living rooms thin-out; textured wallpaper gives way to painted plaster, sofa's lose their thick padding and hard floors pave their way into modern living. All of a sudden we lose the natural treatment.
In 2017, Liam wrote a paper titled ‘Is Sound Driving You Mad? A Study of the British Living Room’ in which he investigated the state of acoustics in said environments throughout the past 50 years. With help from leading experts such as the Technical Director of Funktion-One, Tony Andrews, Liam outlined ways in which everybody could sonically improve their living space using common interior design and architectural techniques. Among these suggestions was using carpet instead of hard flooring, dividing spaces with solid walls and avoiding open-plan living, and employing more soft furnishings to absorb some of the excess sound. When you step back from this you end up going against so many modern living trends - almost the polar opposite of many of the designer environments that are promoted through TV shows and magazines.
With the world so hellbent on stripping back, it’s now more important than ever to educate the population about the importance of sound in our lives and the detrimental effect it can have, if poorly managed. Sektre is not only promoting our acoustic solutions but striving to improve the quality of our environments for generations to come. As many new-build schools begin to employ acoustic solutions in the classrooms and halls, we may actually be on the cusp of a new era for sound treatment.