Julian Treasure spends a lot of time listening. What he hears is, often, different from you hear and I hear. He listens to environments, acoustics, classrooms, hospital rooms, offices, city streets, conference rooms, and other places where poor acoustic design and ambient noise make listening very difficult indeed.
He describes, for example, a cleverly designed modern school building with open-walled classrooms where, for the most part, students could not hear the teacher. He describes the stress levels associated with teaching due, almost entirely, to ambient noise, and their related impact on heart disease. He describes errors in hospitals due to high noise levels (twice as high as they were decades ago, which makes healing more difficult to achieve). He’s convinced that poor school performance is directly connected with poor behavior due to noisy, stressed environments.
He wonders whether the architects who design with their eyes ever use their ears.
And he does all of this in a marvelous–and fairly brief–TED Talk that everyone ought to watch. You’ll find it here.
And, for that matter, you’ll also find Mr. Treasure in several other TED Talks conveniently listed beside his 2012 video.