1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to the Sound of Space

Edited By Emma-Kate Matthews, Jane Burry, Mark Burry Copyright 2025
    520 Pages 109 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This Companion explores a range of conceptual and practical relationships between sound and space across various disciplines, providing insights from technical, creative, cultural, political, philosophical, psychological, and physiological perspectives. The content spans a wide range of spatial typologies, from large reverberant buildings to modest and intimate ones; from external public squares to domestic interiors; from naturally formed environments to highly engineered spaces. These compiled insights and observations explore the vast diversity of ways in which sonic and spatial realms interact.

    This publication therefore forms important bridges between the intricate and diverse topics of technology, philosophy, composition, performance, and spatial design, to contemplate the potential of sound and space as tools for creative expression and communication, as well as for technical innovation. It is hoped that by sharing these insights, the book will inspire practitioners, scholars, and enthusiasts to incorporate new perspectives and methodologies into their own work. 

    Through a rich blend of theory, practice, and critical reflection, this volume serves as a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring the intricacy of relationships between space and sound, whether they are students, professionals, or simply curious. Our companion provides a cross-section through shared territories between sonic and spatial disciplines from architecture, engineering, sound design, music composition and performance, urban design, product design and much more.

    List of figures

    List of tables

    List of contributors

    Main Introduction

    Emma-Kate Matthews and Jane Burry

    Part I: Architectural Acoustics (Introduction)

    Jane Burry

    Chapter 1: Designed Extremes

    Shane Myrbeck

    Chapter 2: Introducing Acoustic Shadows

    Pantea Alambeigi and Jane Burry

    Chapter 3: Transferring The Impression Of Real And Imaginary Spaces

    Philip J B Jackson and Philip D Coleman

    Chapter 4: Beyond The Sweet Spot: Sound, Space And Emotion

    Raj Patel, Ian Forsyth, Jane Pollard and Ed.Gerrie Van Noord

    Chapter 5: Architectural Acoustics of the Sagrada Família Basílica

    Sipei Zhao and Mark Burry

    Chapter 6: Intimate Acoustic Environments On Record

    Emil Kraugerud

    Chapter 7: Long Range: Intrinsic Acoustic Performance

    Zackery Belanger, Catie Newell and Wes Mcgee


    Part II: Psychology And Physiology (Introduction)

    Jane Burry

    Chapter 8: Immersive Ambisonic Spatial Audio Design for Extreme Environments

    Stu Favilla

    Chapter 9: In an Open (Music) Field. Space And Time Notation for Representing Landscape

    David Buck and Carla Molinari

    Chapter 10: Lend Me Your Ears

    Michael Fowler

    Chapter 11: Imagining Together

    Nina Garthwaite

    Chapter 12: Aural Diverse Spatial Perception: From Paracusis to Panacusis Loci

    John L. Drever

    Chapter 13: On Sonic Growth And Form; Biometric Evolution of Sound and Space Paul Bavister

    Chapter 14: Infrastructures of Inaudibility: The Spatial Politics of Assistive Listening

    Jonathan Tyrrell


    Part III: Philosophy And Politics (Introduction)

    Mark Burry

    Chapter 15: Reading Aloud: The Vocalisation of Living Space

    Paul Carter

    Chapter 16: From Affordances to Value Chains: Probing the System of Sound, Space and Public

    Sven Anderson

    Chapter 17: On Vibrational Architectures

    Gascia Ouzounian (Text) and Jan St. Werner (Images)

    Chapter 18: House of Silence, of Stillness, of Solitude

    Mark Taylor

    Chapter 19: Dimensionless Space (With Serrated Edges and Sucking Noises): Intimacy, Asmr, Micro-Magic, Sensory Scholarship and Other Taboos

    David Toop

    Chapter 20: Posthuman Listening to the More-Than-Human Soundscape

    Jordan Lacey

    Chapter 21: Towards A Topology of Music

    Ildar Khannanov

    Chapter 22: Sound’s Spatial-Material Circuitry

    Raviv Ganchrow

    Chapter 23: Place, Sound, and Architecture

    Jeff Malpas

    Chapter 24: Shaping Sounds of Future Environments

    Eleni-Ira Panourgia

    Part IV: Sound Art and Music (Introduction)

    Emma-Kate Matthews

    Chapter 25: Spatiosonic Dialogues: Exploring Architecture's Role in Music Composition and Performance

    Emma-Kate Matthews

    Chapter 26: In Praise of Emptiness: A Future for Performance Venues

    Fabricio Mattos

    Chapter 27: Opera in the Bathhouse; Exploring an Acoustically Led Approach to Dramaturgy and Scenography

    Rosalind Parker and Pedro Novo

    Chapter 28: Sound, Space and the Iko Loudspeaker – The Apparent Paradox of Diversity with Unity

    Angela Mcarthur and Emma Margetson

    Chapter 29: Intimate Sound: Making Known, Curating and Composing for Small Spaces

    Lawrence Harvey

    Chapter 30: Listening With, Listening Toward: Proposing Graphic Transcription as a Means Of (Re)Hearing Space

    Ben Mcdonnell

    Chapter 31: Site-Oriented Music Curation. Contouring The Listening Spaces

    Sasha Elina

    Chapter 32: Notes from the Far Field

    Philip Samartzis

    Chapter 33: Fluid Architectures and Aural Sculpturality – Towards an Aesthetic of Sonic Spatio-Temporal Environments

    Gerriet Krishna Sharma

    Chapter 34: Acoustic Atlas - An Orchestra of Echoes

    Cobi Van Tonder



    Emma-Kate Matthews is an architect, composer, musician, and researcher. Her work explores the creative intersections between sonic and spatial practices through the production of site-responsive and spatialised audiovisual projects.

    Jane Burry is an architect and Head of University of Adelaide’s School of Architecture and Civil engineering. Jane’s research leverages digital fabrication with simulation and feedback to create better, more sensitive, human-centric spaces through linking to environmental and perceptual experience including the auditory.

    Mark Burry AO is an architect and the Founding Director for Swinburne University of Technology’s Smart Cities Research Institute (SCRI).  His role is to lead the development of a whole-of-university research approach to ‘urban futures’, helping ensure that our future cities anticipate and meet the needs of all – smart citizens participating in the development of smart cities.