• Elvin Ou

Reflection on the sound walk project

Updated: Sep 26, 2018

Project Name: Whisper

Group: Sukanya and Elvin Ou

Soundcloud Link: https://soundcloud.com/elvin-ou-110040295/soundwalksukanyaelvin

Length of walk: 3:07

Starting point: In front of the elevator on the fourth floor (itp) on 721 Broadway Ave.

The guide map for users to use during the sound walk

Final Script:

[whispery voice] . Hey..  [ right] You’re new here, aren’t you… I don’t think I’ve seen you before.. [coming around the back] And I’ve been here for a while … a long time ..

Longer than that wooden installation..

Have you seen it?

Come, Let’s go look at it together..  [ left]

[start walking}

. .[footsteps?] . [sounds of wood moving, slightly from the left] . it’s fun isnt it [right]

I love the sound it makes.. [mumble] wish it worked for me


[ walk around]

come, let’s walk down this hallway on the left [left].

. The tvs used to be so much  smaller when i got here.. And fatter. They could never put them up like this


And this big open area -- it keeps changing

Class room, residents room..

Japanese room.. I never quite understood where that came form

Now its just the j room

Let’s stop here in the opening for a second. .. right in the middle

This spot has stayed the same…

[ silence for a few seconds / recorded silence sound ..? ] . Does silence unsettle you? [back] I love standing here, listening to the sounds change over the course of the day… The quiet mornings, the gradual build up, .. those obvious breaks between classes when it gets really loud… And then those few hours at night, when its dead silent…  that makes me feel unsettled.. .

Lets walk towards the kitchen, [left]

its probably one of the newest little nooks on the floor

They have one of those new robot things sitting there

Those speakers.. Alexa i think?

She’s not very friendly..

I tried talking to her but she just ignores me


Let’s walk down this hallway on the right [right] .

I like your shoes by the way.. [coming around to the back] . Yea.. I can see you right now.. I see everything.. Even though you can’t see me..

Nobody sees me It gets kinda lonely.. .

You see the open area at the end of the hallway, with all the chairs?

I used to live here .. It was  cosy ..

It felt safe.. . It took a while before I could look out that window though..[ coming aorund to the left] But I want to show you.. You see the building on the left? Lets go look at it closer… . I used to live there, you can see my window. Look carefully.. On the sixth floor… With the blinds torn out…

From the time I fell out … .


Individually, we all have experience each groups' sound walk and taken notes of each experience. For me personally, I have mostly focused on couple points that my team struggle the most during process, for example: how effective the sound is to demonstrate the narrative spatially? how effective is a physical guiding map, will it play too much of a role in guiding that distracts users from the actual walk? etc.

After all the sound walks, every project got feedbacks on them, and for the feedback of our project, I think I have learned several points to focus on for future reference when creating an audio project.

- It is super important to give the piece a specific sense of feeling/ atmosphere to help indicate the context and narrative.

- The right amount of movement and pauses need to be tested with different users and different time of the day (opacity of the space)

- The consideration of condition of user walking alone or walking with a group of other users might change the whole experience.

- The right amount of instruction, not too little, not too much. Do not let the instruction confuse users more or distract them from the actual experience.

- Maybe the sound walk will help users explore more of something that they didn't already know.