I have long talked about the movie The Terminal and maybe someone will seem that I had moved away from the main topic of this blog that is the information architecture in audio contexts. I hope that this was only a brief impression because the intention was not so, and I’ll explain.
I took advantage of the movie “The Terminal” with three post because my field of study and research I want to focus on “not place” as a space of transformation.
Our perception of sound, physical space (and perhaps especially when we surf into Web), will always be an essential element of our being. The place of waiting and transit, which is the terminal of an airport or the mall or, like so many other places of transition, of alienation, today, have changed their function and functional use which make users . Add to say, to the use original and unpredictable, which make users.
I agree, in fact, fully what is proposed by Luca Rosati.
“Information architecture stands as possible glue between the various contexts of human-information”
What I hope and I wish for my follower is to have tools and points of view and different listening to better interpret what we are experiencing.
I am sure, for example, that the next time you pass by a terminal, you watch and listen space so different, you will have more awareness of yourself, of your transformation from tourist, worker, migrant to traveler/user. Before the security check you will have a purpose that you will reach, only and alone, exceeded the output of the next terminal. Meanwhile, travelers are all equal, everyone must follow the same rules, and no matter the reasons of your flight.
At least that’s what happens, and we live the time of the change. “Soon”, forecasts for 2024, the airport and the terminal will be more. There is already talk of “Aeroville”: the airport will be the place where your holiday begins. To do this you start talking about the introduction of iBeacon that identifies you, they recognize the needs requested by the user and will signal where to meet their own interests.
You understand, therefore, that the theme is central to the information architecture.
But let’s take this opportunity to specifically and tell you my personal sound experience at the airport. While writing the previous post, in fact, I had the need to transit from an Italian Terminal and re-live the experience for a few hours the place and the passenger. Obviously it was not the first time and it was not even the first time in the terminal.
I can guarantee that, in the Terminal, in general, there is very little attention to the sound information. Mediocrity that I feel bad enough as the information that is disseminated to the sound channels are very important information and mainly for emergencies and not for the ordinary.
Ordinary, in fact, a system that addresses quite easily the passenger to his destination: the counter check-in will be well educated on what directions start, the right size of a carry-on and what you can bring in the terminal . The information is clearly visible across the path with signs or videos constructed. If you have followed all the instructions correctly, ticket in your hand, you head to the designated gate and you will board ship.
This ordinary. But the emergency? A change of the gate, in a busy period of the year? A delay due to heavy rains or snowfalls exceptional? The last call of the flight for a family who has checked-in and do not show up at the gate? All this information is given by sound through speakers.
Too bad that in the terminal the technology used is not really up to date, or at least, the audible result is like a buzzer, which if it is new we can reconstruct what it said, but when it is old, it is really incomprehensible. Yet the sound technology, like speakers and microphones, has made great strides to cost more and more content.
I was able to register a notice, I propose you, which I did not understand anything but finding myself in front of the gate. Announcements or warnings of this kind should be avoided and / or definitely improved.
Who has “no thought” to the acoustic structure of the airport, he has not even thought about the sound environment in which the announcement would take place and nobody cares if the information arrives or not.
That is why today the architects think about the context and the context can not be put aside.
Else, perhaps less important, perhaps even secondary. Ground staff, as that of air, I guess it took a course even surface of microphones, since, by international convention, all use a robotic tone. It would have two minutes more to explain that you have to hold the microphone to a “right” distance from the mouth.
In my last flight, then flipping through the papers in the cab, I read that the focus for a better acoustics for the passenger is the center of attention of the airline. Effort that is to be appreciated, but the use of the telephone to give important information on rescue systems is found in many aircraft. Perhaps not the most recent, where an animation clearly explains what to do in an emergency, but in many aircraft the intercom still is king.
It ‘really so difficult? I do not think so. As in much broader contexts and chaotic, as railway stations, or in places much noisier, as the metropolitan city, the sound information arriving in a straightforward manner.