Abstract: This paper aims to evaluate culture and traditions of everyday life from a sonic perspective and to suggest ways for protecting characteristic sounds and soundscapes. This multidisciplinary research, having roots in such fields as soundscape studies, intangible cultural heritage (ICH), museum studies and sensory studies, explores the larger contemporary cultural soundscape of Istanbul. This paper also draws on the project The Soundscape of Istanbul (https://soundscapeofistanbul.ku.edu.tr/), which is archiving the contemporary elements of the cultural soundscape of Istanbul that were determined by public contribution, and outlines examples from this collection. Sounds constitute an inevitable part of daily life and are therefore very important as ICH. Thus, they deserve to be protected to strengthen cultural memory. However, sonic culture is twice endangered due to the physical characteristics of sound itself and the dynamic structure of intangible culture. Therefore, urgent protection of contemporary cultural soundscapes in the context of ICH is crucial for transferring the present sonic environments to following generations in order to maintain cultural identity.
Abstract: This paper explains how user-centered design approach shapes a cultural heritage project in the sustainability context. The project aims to protect urban sounds as intangible cultural heritage elements and turn the action of protecting sounds into a collaborative work. Sounds are of great significance in daily urban life and in culture as they carry emotions and awaken cultural memories. Thus, they deserve to be protected and transferred to next generations. In this paper, we first evaluate soundscapes as an intangible cultural heritage element, second we explore the presentation techniques in soundscape studies in the literature, then we explain how the methods implemented step by step, and finally we introduce the two outcomes: the library archive (The Soundscape of Istanbul project) and the crowdsourced web archive (The Soundsslike project). The Soundscape of Istanbul project aims to collect and archive cultural and urban sounds of the city while The Soundsslike project is basically a crowdsourced online sound archive which invites people to record symbolic urban sounds and upload them to the online sound archive. This online platform was built and displayed in an exhibition by means of an interactive tabletop interface to learn more from users and contributors, and to enrich the archive content by raising public awareness of urban sounds.
Abstract: The Soundscape of Istanbul project aims to explore urban sounds of Istanbul since they form a significant part of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) and to protect them by creating an archive for sounds of Istanbul’s urban culture. We conducted primary source research followed by an online survey and interviews in order to specify culturally significant urban sounds and to define the archive content. Besides gathering data for archive content, we obtained a pattern demonstrating the level of awareness of urban and cultural sounds of Istanbul from the viewpoint of residents and foreigners. This paper discusses the pattern drawn from the results of the online survey that shows which sounds are primarily recognized and which ones less so, and put forward possible reasons for this outcome. This paper is intended to lay the groundwork for further research on which culturally significant urban sounds need more attention and how to increase awareness of the most important sounds for a sustainable urban culture.
Abstract: This paper outlines an experiential exhibition that intends to increase public awareness of cultural sounds of Istanbul. Since intangible cultural heritage (ICH) elements can only be safeguarded within society, it is necessary that the society is aware of cultural values and conscious about protecting them. In order to raise public awareness of sonic cultural values, we designed an exhibition to emphasize the cultural significance of urban sounds through sonic experiences. The exhibition is shaped by experience design, as experience is one of the most powerful ways of conveying a message. Moreover, the exhibition consists of only sounds and texts, but no visuals in order to draw attention on urban sounds and to keep visitors focused on thinking about these cultural values. This experiential exhibition leads to a raise in public awareness of urban sounds, which hopefully triggers protecting cultural values voluntarily and help turning the action of collecting and archiving urban sounds into a collaborative work.
Abstract: This dissertation aims to evaluate the culture and traditions of everyday life from a sonic perspective and suggests ways to protect characteristic sounds and soundscapes, as well as to raise public awareness of urban sounds. This multidisciplinary research project, entitled The Soundscape of Istanbul, is rooted in fields such as soundscape studies, intangible cultural heritage (ICH), museum studies, sensory studies, interaction design and experience design. It explores the larger contemporary cultural soundscape of a metropolitan city, Istanbul. Sounds constitute an inevitable part of daily life and, are therefore very important as ICH. Thus, they deserve to be protected to strengthen cultural memory. However, sonic culture is twice endangered, due to the physical characteristics of sound itself and due to the dynamic structure of intangible culture. Therefore, the protection of contemporary cultural soundscapes in the context of ICH is particularly urgent and crucial for transferring the present sonic environments to following generations in order to maintain a cultural identity. For the purposes of this research project, I defined culturally significant sounds of the city of Istanbul by public participation. Public opinion was very crucial for determining the most significant sounds, since cultural identity is based on individual’s cultural memory. Then, I collected the sounds thus determined and created a sound archive, now located in Koç University’s Suna Kıraç Library to make it publicly accessible. In order to turn this collection into a more sustainable and richer archive, we designed an interactive platform that is open to contributions so that volunteers can record and upload their own sound recordings. We then de- signed two exhibitions to increase the public awareness of urban sounds, to introduce this interactive sound archive, and to encourage volunteers to contribute. According to surveys conducted during the exhibitions, visitors have an unconscious emotional bond to sounds, but they generally did not realize this before the exhibitions. During the exhibitions, they became aware of the significance of urban sounds and volunteered to contribute. Thus, the exhibitions played a significant role in raising public awareness and in protecting the sonic heritage, making it live on for future generations.
Keywords: soundscape, intangible cultural heritage, interactive exhibition, experiential exhibition, cultural sounds, digital sound collection, crowdsourced sound archive