Project description and objectives

The satisfaction of the workshop participants involved in the process and the initiated product will be constantly monitored through suitable instruments linked to the literature of reference.

At the end of the workshop in the online Social Platform it’s possible to share the outcome of the workshop and the exploration of the sound mapping identified in this first phase. At the end is possible to publication of peer-reviewed papers in various fields of disciplines and in diverse ways (from classic communication, to installation, to performance). This is a guarantee of widespread dissemination both of a scientific type and of a more popular informative.

The main result expected from this workshop project is a change of attitude of the people involved towards a positive perspective of the heritage of sound, acknowledged both nationally and internationally. In 2006 the Federal Department for the Interior ratified the UNESCO Convention (2012)  and “recognized the importance of intangible cultural heritage for cultural diversity, social cohesion, cultural identity and the country’s image (….). In effect sound is recognized as an intangible cultural heritage to be preserved, protected and enhanced.” [DF06]

As is evident from the statements above, sound heritage is recognized as pivotal to the participatory process of the recognition of sound as an asset by the population through the dimension of listening. This process of appreciation becomes a driving force for promoting accessibility of the area through a participatory sound map of the case study of the territory which can be extended to include the entire Swiss and Brazilian context.



Adopting a community-based, action-oriented model of social learning is a model that proposes that learning can occur by simply ‘doing’ activities or by making use of the creative reworking for:

a) the appreciation and preservation of sound heritage;

b) the promotion of an accessible usage – both onsite and online – for people with visual impairment;

c) the triggering of participatory processes capable of promoting a greater awareness of the dimension of the protection and preservation of the soundscape in according to a participatory approach;

d) discovery the history of landscape by appreciation and preservation of sound heritage featuring case studies of landscapes;

e) fine tuning of Travelling Focus Groups, and a system for evaluating the process and the product, also considering those who are blind or visually impaired;

f) creative production of sound and activities related to physical theatre;

g) promotion of retroactive mechanisms for feedback on the theories and practices activated for on-going of future research project.


Innovation and originality

There are manifold innovative aspects within this project. First of all presents an innovative model of social learning which occurs by means of an exchange of experiences. In addition to this, an added value of the project is the implementation of a multidisciplinary network and the innovativeness inherent in the topic, which touches upon emerging areas of the various disciplines involved [RD12]. The integration between “hard” and “human” sciences is achieved through the element of the language of sounds for reflection on territorial processes of the past and of today (territorial planning), considering sustainability (of sound quality) and accessibility (to the landscape for the blind and visually impaired). The analogous aspects of these elements will be augmented by and included in the creative dimension and in performances which, because of the strong emotional component brought into play, will be a further opportunity to approach and gain knowledge of the case studies of territories.


Expected outcomes

a) A innovative methodology (TFG) the start up for subsequent studies;

b) a participatory multidisciplinarity network;

c) an opportunity to collect sound data which will be required for subsequent studies;

d) increase the sensitivity to the acoustic dimension in the social society and in the scientific community.


Relevance of the topic

More and more, knowledge of the world around us comes through hearing [SC77]. While sight, privileged until now, has been able to develop highly sophisticated tools and techniques to store, manipulate and interpret perceived data, hearing is still “in its infancy” in its approach to the world [MA14]. In fact, the soundscape is still struggling with tools and methods of verification although, because of this vagueness, it stands out as an interesting field of multidisciplinary investigation  [R12, R13, R14, R15]. In outlining a synthetic, functional, theoretical framework to delineate the key concepts which will be developed in this research project, it is very useful to remember the “Careggi Landscape Declaration on Soundscape” which, referring to the European Landscape Convention, defines soundscape as:

“The acoustic properties of any landscape in relation to the perception of a specific species . . . [are] the result of phenomena and dynamics which are physical (geophonic), biological (biophonic) and human (anthrophonic)” [C12].

The acoustic property has within itself a more objective component (measurable and comparable in terms of noise pollution) as well as a more subjective one (directly anchored in the individual and social perception, and so in the actual concept of “landscape”). Recalling this duality, Raffesten (a geographer from Geneva) [R07] highlights the distinction between territory – “material reality”, a result of continuous changes, subject to recurrent alteration – and landscape, defined as:

“immaterial reality which, by contrast, is the result of a process of mental production, originating from a human glance, in turn mediated by different languages . . . the expression of a break in time: it is a ‘snap-shot’” [R07].

To understand the territory (geostructure), it is therefore necessary to: “acquire images representing the equipment which allows for an exploration of reality” [R07]. Thus, there is a “mediated relationship”, through sound, between man and his environment  [BÖ20].

Stimulating awareness for the acoustic dimension means, in fact, increasing the aptitude for recognition, respect and appreciation of the elements of sound variety, which constitute a value in themselves and which connote, in a cultural sense but also in a practical and informative one, a section of territory.

The artistically aware use of sound materials related to environmental renewal can be traced back to the early experiences of “concrete music” (Pierre Schaeffer, Pierre Henry) in the 1950s. Since then this practice has never stopped, merging with the so-called “acousmatic music” composed by Denis Smalley, Robert Normandeau and Jonty Harrison, among others, and it is now a fundamental part of the research and artistic training of composers.

Also in this regard, among the sound mapping which can be found on the network there is the freesound experience developed by the Music Technology Group at the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, with a constantly growing database, thanks to the participatory nature of the project (known as participatory sensing). Users resistered to the platform can use and contribute to the sound mapping by downloading and uploading new sounds from and to the database. The “visualization of sounds” is made by means of a planetary map, on which there are markers to specific locations (identified by geographic coordinates). Each marker indicates the presence of recordings, which most of the time hold real surprises. Similar platforms, even if of smaller size, are, and All of them are animated by the desire to share the collected resources (the sounds are published with licenses like Creative Commons).

A great number of cities have already a sound-map which is at least partially freely accessible, for example New York, Montreal, London, Madrid, Berlin, Paris and Berkeley. Of particular interest is the project Soundscapes proposed by the province of Turin, which aims to promote the culture of listening and awareness of the issues of soundscape and the acoustic ecology. Also very interesting is the project, aiming at the sound mapping of Basque country. Both these projects are designed to give the possibility of getting to know some areas by listening to them. The participatory nature of these projects provides the possibility for anyone to contribute to the collection of data, allowing rapid growth of the informative content. While the project proposed by the province of Turin focuses only on one acoustic image of the area, the mapping offered by the Soinumapa project places the acoustic dimension alongside the visual one (associating also images with the positions: “geotags”). This precise context leads to a purely subjective personal feeling.

Finally, it is worth mentioning also VibN [VIBN11], a project designed to build a more wide-ranging sound map. It consists on a platform developed at the SensorLab of the Dartmouth College (New Hampshire, USA) in 2010, with the purpose of displaying  the “acoustic history” of various points of social interest on a map. In the style of the projects presented above, VibN is also a participatory platform, where users contribute by recording audio-snippets when visiting locations of interest, which they want to inform others about. Data collected in a central database is analyzed and processed to provide users with two main types of information: the most important points of interest for the community and how these have been changing over time. In fact, VibN provides a sort of time-machine for navigating within the history of the audio mapping of points of collective interest.


1.Relevance of the conference/workshop for future research collaboration between the Swiss and the Brazilian partner institutions

Starting from these experiences, the workshop project aims at developing an international network of involving people to participate, according to teaching “New history” at the University of Caxias do Sul that uses music (sound and text) for the discovery and valorisation the local territory. In addition, the physical theatre might be one of the main ways of dissemination of our research results and, at the same time, it open up new research questions related to the field of drama (e.g. What sounds come from an artistic creation?), questions of technical nature (e.g. How are the sounds produced, reproduced and recorded?), historical questions (e.g. Have the ideas and practices related to sounds in the performing arts evolved through the experiences of figures such as Stanislavsky, Chekhov, Cage, Cunningham, De Keersmaeker), questions of semiotic nature, and so on.


2. Impact and follow-up activities

From this perspective, the objectives of the future project of research will focus on bottom-up participatory processes, in order to increase active community (in Swiss and in Bazil) involvement and to promote a set of tools capable of:

a) promoting actions of awareness-raising in the dimension of soundscapes with regard to life-long learning, in order to achieve the participatory identification of intangible local sound culture (from geostructure to geogram and vice versa) -development in Swiss and in Brazil  thanks the international examples-;

b) raising awareness among young involved in case studies (i.e. Bachelor’s and Master’s students of SUPSI departments involved) on the topic of well-being and noise pollution in the living environment, through the actual contact with international territory;

c) promoting actions aimed at facilitation, accessibility and usability of the landscape by visually impaired and blind people, as well as by people which are bedridden or hospitalized, and the ones which are unable to return to their places of origin, so that they can use the sound dimension to recall past experiences;

d) making the mapped heritage, an intangible asset to be protected; e) promoting the potential of the soundscape for the advocacy of pathways for artistic and creative development, both in the musical area and in the physical theatre;

f) raising awareness, disseminating and spreading good practices in participatory mapping of the soundscape through the practice of “sound walks”;

g) grouping and connecting the mappings developed with other territorial information which can support planning decisions aimed at increasing the acoustic quality in particular, and more generally the welfare, of public spaces in an integrated manner;

h) developing an alternative touristic approach to the natural parcks on the territory.


3. Ongoing and/or former collaboration

In the 2005 Lorena Rocca is Visiting Professor at the Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Brazil. She is a coordinator, with Prof. Eliana Rela, of the bi-lateral research project “Regional identity and social responsibility as a value of Serra Gaucha fashion” and she take a series of lectures on the issues of sustainable development in relation to the fashion industry.

E. Rela, I. Testoni, L. Rocca (2011). A Construção Social da Identidade de Grupo por Meio da Fotografia do Rito Funerário. In: Marieta de Moraes Ferreira. Anais do XXVI simpósio nacional da ANPUH – Associação Nacional de História. vol. 1, p. 1-10, São Paulo:ANPUH-SP, ISBN: 9788598711089, Universidade de São Paulo (USP), 17 a 22 de julho de 2011.

Testoni I, Rela E., L. Rocca (2010). La costruzione sociale dell’identità di gruppo attraverso la fotografia del rito funerario. OL3MEDIA, vol. 12, p. 36-42


4. Partnership aspect

The cross-disciplinary theme, centred on active experimentation, field work and the relationship between training and research, is among the integral purposes of the project, which recognizes the possibility of causing motivations to converge, leading to innovation in social, educational and training systems. The constituent aspect of the project, in the form of creative scientific publication, results in the search for new and effective means for the dissemination of innovation to various age groups in different contexts (formal, semi-formal, informal). The development of tools for the sustainable use of the land amounts to the promotion of an economy which is attentive to accessibility and which is capable of mobilizing people who are sensitive to the dimension of sound. It is thanks to ongoing collaborations and networking potential that the project can begin. There is a true intention of respecting the two approaches which characterize today’s international research: that of the “hard” sciences – which focused its efforts on noise pollution and is seeking to limit it; and the humanities – which aim to increase the knowledge of the world of sounds and noises [WT14].

The research methodology will be adopted is that of Participatory Action Research [SZ93]. The research questions for a future research project are therefore proposed to the participating community and subsequently defined in an inclusive manner according to the reflective cycle. The scope of the research action is guaranteed at the following levels:

  • Regional: through collaboration with the Swiss National Sound Archives and the Mount Verità Foundation, as well as collaboration with the Centre of Dialectology and Ethnography and the schools in the Canton. Moreover, the prestigious University of Music of Italian Switzerland and the Scuola Teatro Dimitri are actually unique institutions which offer an essential contribution to the development of methodological innovation.
  • National: through collaboration with the FKL network (Forum Klanglandschaft – the Forum for Soundscape), a European association which serves as a platform for contact between people from various disciplines who deal with soundscapes and acoustic spaces. The FKL was born as a result of impetus from the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology WFAE (Vancouver, Canada).
  • International: through collaboration with the preexisting international research team on soundscapes cooridinated by L. Rocca, which includes: Monica Fantini (French Culture and Radio France International), Stefano Alessandretti (Italian: composer, informatics expert and independent researcher), Paolo Zavagna (Italian: Conservatory of Venice); Alessandro Fagiuoli (Italian: violinist, Paul Klee Quartet), Xabier Erkizia (Spanish: Musician, sound-artist, producer and journalist from the Basque,  Country
    In Brazil, with the Eliana Rela’s research staff is possible to improve the methodology of teaching history.



[BÖ20] Böhme G. (2000), Acoustic Atmospheres. A Contribution to the Study of Ecological Aesthetics. Sound- scape, The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, 1(1), 14-18.

[C12] UNISCAPE, Careggi Landscape Declaration on Soundscapes, Giugno 2012.

[CE06] Raccomandazione 2006/962/CE del Parlamento europeo e del Consiglio, del 18 dicembre 2006, relativa a competenze chiave per l’apprendimento permanente (Gazzetta ufficiale L 394 del 30.12.2006).

[DF01] De Fanis M., Geografie letterarie: il senso del luogo nell’alto Adriatico – Meltemi Editore srl, 2001

[DF06] Dipartimento Federale dell’Interno, Confederazione Svizzera, Ratifica della Convenzione dell’UNESCO per la salvaguardia del patrimonio culturale immateriale. Rapporto esplicativo, Dicembre 2006.

[DR14] Donadelli G., Rocca L. 2014) Teaching and learning with geocaching. In Jekel, Gryl, et al. (Eds.) Teaching geography using geomedia. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 44-58. ISBN (10): 1-4438-6213-4, ISBN (13): 978-1-4438-6213-4

[DK99] Douglas Kahn, Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts – Cambridge, MIT Press, 1999.

[LK11] Lynne Kendrick / David Roesner (ed.), Theatre Noise: The Sound of Performance – Newcastle, Cambridge University Scholars, 2011.

[M04] Meini M., Cercando di misurare colorate tracce volatili – Geotema, n. 23/2004, pp. 135-144.

[M07] Midolo E. D., Sound Matters. Orizzonti sonori della cultura contemporanea – Milano, Vita & Pensiero (2007).

[M10] Marchetta V., Passaggi di Sound Design. Riflessioni, competenze, oggetti-eventi – Franco Angeli, Milano 2010.

[MA14] Mayr, 2014, Place(s) Sound(S) time (S) Actor(S), Trento, Fratini editore 2015.

[MZ11] Morelli, G. Zavagna, P. (2011). “Il paesaggio sonoro di Venezia. Per una mappatura dei suoni della città lagunare”, Venezia Musica e dintorni, 38, pp. 64–65.

[NI13] Nielsen. The Mobile Consumer. A global Snapshot. February 2013.

[R07] Raffestin C., Il concetto di territorialitàM. Bertoncin, A. Pase (a cura di), Territorialità. Necessità di regole condivise e nuovi vissuti territoriali, Franco Angeli, Milano (2007): 21-31.

[R12] Rocca L., Il ruolo delle credenze degli insegnanti tra ricerca e didattica geografica – in Bandini, G., Manuali, sussidi e didattica della geografia. Una prospettiva storica, vol. 1, Firenze 2012, University Press, pp. 163-182.

[RD12] Rocca L., Donadelli G. (2012). La cartografia digitale a Scuola. Il riscatto della geografia. In: T. Roselli, A. Andronico, F. Berni, P. Di Bitonto, V. Rossano . Didamatica 2012. Atti Didamatica 2012 Informatica per la Didattica, supporto digitale. vol. 1, p. 1-7, Milano:AICA, ISBN: 9788890540677, Taranto, 14-16 Maggio 2012.

[R13] Rocca L., Le impronte del paesaggio sonoro: un’opportunità per la didattica della storia e della geo grafiaRi-Vista ricerche per la progettazione del paesaggio, Dottorato di Ricerca in Progettazione Paesistica, Facoltà di Architettura, Università degli Studi di Firenze gennaio-giugno 2013, Firenze University Press,

[R14] Galassetti A.; Galfetti G.; Rocca L., Impronte di paesaggi sonori – Locarno, SUPSI, 2014.

[R15] Rocca L., Zavagna P. (2015) Percorsi educativi sui paesaggi sonori, Michi, F. (a cura di) Per chi suona il paesaggio, atti del II meeting FKL Italia, Fratini editore, p.125-147.

[RB09] Ross Brown, Sound: A Reader in Theatre Practice, Basingstoke – Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

[SC77] Schäfer, R.M. (1977). The Tuning of the World. New York.

[SZ93] C. Scurati, G. Zanniello (a cura di), La ricerca azione, Napoli, Tecnodid, 1993.

[T90] Yi-Fu Tuan (1990) Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes, and Values – Columbia University Press.

[WT14] Torsten W. (2014) Geographies of Urban Sound, London, Ashgate.

[VIBN11] Miluzzo E., Papandrea M., Lane N. D., Sarroff A. M., Giordano S., Campbell A. T., Tapping into the Vibe of the City using VibN, a Continuous Sensing Application for SmartphonesFirst International Symposium on Social and Community Intelligence (SCI), Ubicomp, Settembre 2011.