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Architecture for People with Hearing Loss: 6 Design Tips

Contrary to what we might believe, hearing loss is not always congenital, but could sooner or later happen to any of us. According to the WHO, almost a third of people over 65 suffer from debilitating hearing loss. Yet from a certain perspective, hearing loss could be considered more of a 'difference' than a 'disability'. Although the spatial demands of people with hearing disabilities are not as noticeable as spaces for the blind or for those who experience reduced mobility, the reduction of hearing capacity does entail a particular way of experiencing the environment. Is it possible to enhance this experience through interior design?

Microsoft New England Research & Development Center / Sasaki. Image © John HornerMcDonald’s HQ Workplace / Studio O+A + IA Interior Architects. Image © Garrett RowlandArtek HQ Helsinki / SevilPeach. Image © Tuomas Uusheimo PhotographyLocomobile Lofts / Studio IDE. Image © Renae Lillie+ 7

What to Expect from Interiors of the Future

In 2018, the UN released an article stating that 55% of the world’s population already lived in urban areas, predicting that by 2050 this percentage would reach 68%. This trend toward greater urbanization carries with it several implications regarding environmental degradation and social inequality. According to National Geographic, urban growth increases air pollution, endangers animal populations, promotes the loss of urban tree cover, and heightens the likelihood of environmental catastrophes such as flash flooding. These health hazards and catastrophic phenomena may be more likely to impact poorer populations, as larger cities tend to demonstrate higher rates of economic inequality and uncontrolled growth tends to produce unequal distributions of space, services, and opportunities.

To mitigate these negative effects of urbanization, designers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability and the maximization of available space – allowing more people to occupy less space with a smaller footprint.

Courtesy of SeuraBatipin Flat / studioWOK. Image © Federico VillaCasa da Escrita / João Mendes Ribeiro. Image © do mal o menosStudio 45 / Marston Architects. Image © Katherine Lu+ 13

Apartament in Delicias / EME157 estudio de arquitectura

© Luis Alda© Luis Alda© Luis Alda© Luis Alda+ 20

Montaña en la Luna / ENORME Studio

© Javier de Paz García© Luis Alda© Luis Alda© Luis Alda+ 32