As I tried to understand what my husband was saying in a crowded restaurant last week, failing to distinguish his intelligence and wit over the boom of the post-disco music from the sound system and the din of the ebullient patrons, it occurred to me how much noise is shaping our public life—for the worse.
Actually, it is our semi-public life, as public space in most cases is already so inimical to comfort and contact that we cocoon ourselves there with headphones and whatever means we can. In this way, we avoid any social interaction with others who might threaten our existence or just our self-definition.
No, it is in bars and restaurants, in airports and train stations, in waiting rooms and other spaces of limbo, where we are forced to be part of the environment and its social life that we find ourselves assaulted by the assertion of individual voices that drown out our ability to have any kind of meaningful interaction. As we try to concentrate on what somebody is saying or try to engage in some activity that is still licit in such places (reading, for example), we find ourselves confronting the guy on the phone mansplaining the next deal; the laughter of that one person who has to show that he really, really gets it; the pulse of the music that was tailored exactly for who market research says we are; and, of course, everywhere and always the blare of television, itself dominated by advertising.
Read the full story HERE >>>> Source: Architect Magazine http://www.architectmagazine.com/design/shut-up_o