"During the Middle Ages, smell was the unspoken plague of cities," writes New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman. "Today it is sound." In his latest article, entitled "Dear Architects: Sound Matters," Kimmelman breaks down an often-overlooked element of architectural design, explaining how space shapes sound, and how sound shapes our experience of a space - and imploring architects to put more thought into the sonic environments created by their designs.
But the piece is not just any normal essay: the presentation of the article is a spiritual follow-up to his groundbreaking review of the new Whitney Museum of American Art, which ArchDaily managing editor Rory Stott described as “2015’s most important design in architecture.” Kimmelman and his collaborators have inserted interactive elements to tell their story, this time layering 3D audio on top of the video images that supplement the text. Hover your cursor over a video to hear the ambient noise of the New York Public Library, or click and hold on another video to compare the sounds of New York City and Paris subways.
With "Dear Architects: Sound Matters," Kimmelman and The New York Times have continued to challenge traditional notions of what architecture journalism looks (and sounds) like, bringing architectural experiences to life in a way photographs and words alone never could.
Read (and hear) Kimmelman’s full story here.