TED Talks – “Open Your EARS” Architects!

Make text bigger | Make text smaller

We listened to a brilliant TED Talk this morning, and it inspired this blog by confirming a stance that we have at EtMM about how designing your “forever home” (or any architectural environment in general, as Julian speaks to) is WAY MORE than a G.C. (General Contractor) telling you he can put a grab bar in your shower as you get older and less able physically.

Julian Treasure’s presentation and statistical research were astounding.  Did you know?

1) Sound affects us psychologically, physiologically, cognitively, and behaviorally – all the time, even though we are not consciously aware of it.

2) Hospitality: Noise levels in decibels have doubled in hospitals since 1972.  Increase in noise level distractions directly affect dispensing errors!  (That’s right, bad acoustics can lead to mis-medication dosing… YIKES!)

3) Due to noise levels and distractions, restful sleep and quality of sleep is compromised, which directly affects our ability as a patient to HEAL, prolonging our stays in hospitals and delaying our health and recovery. (Listen to sample hospital sounds here – imagine as a patient with 2-4 of these going at the same time, all night long – you get the idea!)

4) Education: In a recent world renowned architect’s $64 million educational facility in London with a “full height atrium and open classroom concept”, once opened for classes, immediately required they come back in and spend another $1.2 million retrofitting the interiors because the students couldn’t hear their teachers.

5) In older typical classrooms with standard unfixed desk spacing from front to back, if you are sitting in row FOUR from the front, speech intelligibility is at 50%! (Siebein 1998 study of 600 classrooms in the state of Florida).  And at a typical 65 decibel classroom sound level, your heart rate can over time be expected to increase (as the teacher concerned about the noise level) to a rate/level typically associated with a heart attack!?

6) Reverberation: A typical classroom would have about a 1.2 second reverberation time.  The sound is garbled and unclear in talking message format at this level.  At 0.4 seconds, with all other things being equal, the clarity is astounding (see the video of Julian’s talk).  The cost of the acoustic treatments per classroom would be approximately $5,000, vs. the costs of not actually getting your education audibly?  Or having to be shipped to another school district where the classrooms ARE better = $180,000 per year… Pretty simple math for seeing a solution, right?  As the Essex study states in the U.K. – as acoustics improve, so does behavior & results in class.

Note: Yet again in our discussions, the idea of “A DIME of prevention vs. a DOLLAR of cure” arises… Interesting!?  Maybe someday we’ll pick up on this common theme and begin to get ahead by planning ahead… We sure HOPE!

7) One in Eight (1 of 8) people / children on any day are dealing with a hearing challenge, some a disability but others simply a head cold or some other issue in the ears, nose, and throat which can diffuse their ability to hear clearly on a given day.  So this is EVERYONE’s issue, not SOMEONE ELSE.

The list of amazing statistics continues in his talk

Our reason to share this TED Talk, and to weigh in on it?  It proves a very important point and confirms our stance on design for anyone.  It’s multi-faceted, many dimensional, personal, specific, and contains a multitude of pieces of a puzzle that suits the needs of the client.  This is why we are working to become a thought leader on the topic of “The Psychology of the Built Environment”, and taking that education and experience into the realm of helping our older populations to STAY IN THEIR HOME if that is the right solution for them.  We at EtMM are “Aging In Place” Consultants, coaches, mentors, teachers, resources, & experts.  And we’re here to help!  We can help with not just the grab bar, but all the things as a CAPS “Certified Aging In Place Specialist” and license architecture firm (ADM Architecture, also owned by Aaron D. Murphy).that are included in designing a space that suits your needs now and for as long as you want to stay in your own home.  Lighting, Acoustics, Materials, Textures, Colors, Appliances, Equipment, Air Quality, Accessibility, etc… the list goes on!  All of these things affect our quality of life, our happiness, and our longevity in our environment.  Therefore we should be LISTENING to our clients, and giving them the best solution to suit their specific needs.  OPEN OUR EARS, and the truth of how we can help will come out of the speakers’ mouths, if we are paying attention and ACTIVELY listening to their wants, needs, and rights.

Start LISTENING to your environment, so you can, as Julian quotes from a friend and architect of his, “Invisible Architecture – Designing not APPEARANCE, but rather EXPERIENCE”.  The result as he states, and we completely agree here at EtMM, is a space that is fit for it’s purpose, improves our quality of life, our health and well being, our social behavior, and our productivity.  Well said Mr. Treasure, well said.

OUR MISSION at Empowering The Mature Mind: 

“Dramatically improving our clients ability to live a longer and happier life.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *