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Tempo Reale - Villa Strozzi - Via Pisana 77 50143 Firenze
Scientific & Music Program May 20-22 2011



Enrico VARAGNOLO Sonic Survey Interface

The paper presents the partial results of a thesis of a five-year master in Building Engineering / Architecture at the University of Trento (supervisor Prof. Arch. Giovanna A. Massari, co-supervisor Ph.D. Arch. Antonella Radicchi, University of Florence, and Prof. Mauro Graziani, Bonporti Conservatory of Trento).

This research developes some aspects of soundscape studies with a practical approach. It intends to give a useful understanding of the acoustics of a city to those who live in it, to urban planners and to designers.
The main aim of this thesis is the construction of an instrument able to link the survey and the space design with the studies of soundscape, capable of collecting all necessary data for a full description of the object under analysis, and therefore, for its comprehension.
To this end I developed a tool to manage data generated by an acoustic survey, that lends itself to educational and scientific purposes, so that the acoustic perception may contribute to greater awareness of a place by its inhabitants.

The trial focuses on building an interface divided into two subsets:

- an interactive multilayered sound map, easy to use and with a strong emotional impact because it is also addressed to the regular citizen.
- a database that allows a professional to identify specific and individual data through the system of tags and geolocation.

The map is composed of different sound layers according to the pattern of urban survey by overlapping layers, giving the user the possibility of adding new layers.

For the construction of the prototype, I did a pilot study and I chose an urban area of the city of Trento, in order to test the process.
Quantitative and qualitative variables were assessed trying to reach the emotional data.

The research is still in progress but the map - prototype submitted to the regular user seems to work. The possibilities of improving the interface are many, as well as its uses: in addition of being a useful tool for survey professionals, urban planners, geographers or sociologists, the interface is also suitable as a tool to make citizens more aware of their acoustic environment, to build new ways of exploring the city and nature and therefore, to promote alternative forms of cultural tourism.


Enrico Varagnolo was born in Chioggia, Venezia, in 1983.
He started music studies at the age of six, beginning with flute and music theory and subsequently with classical guitar. After eleven years of classical background he decided to focus his research in electronic and experimental music, together with a band known as Gund, with whom he performed several concerts and, in 2003, composed the music for a short film about Trento Parco Chiesa, exposed at the MART museum of Rovereto.
Since 2002, he is persuing the master degree course in Building Engineering/Architecture at the University of Trento with the purpose to aid and promote his experiences related to sound, to enrich them rather than replace them.
In 2006 he attended for a year the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid, in which he deepened his knowledge on urban and environmental planning and on the relationship between cinema and architecture.
Back in Italy, he started to investigate the relationship between landscape architecture, urban planning, surveying methods, and space representation. Research in these areas take him to elaborate his graduation thesis in collaboration with the Conservatory of Music Bonporti of Trento.

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