Another great Ted Talk from Julian Treasure about the importance of good acoustic design. Most of his ten minute talk is dedicated to classroom acoustics (from around 2:50 to 8:50 if you’re in a hurry).
Treasure has crunched the numbers and reckons that on any given day, in any classroom, 16% of students are hearing impaired (that includes those with a cold, hay fever, ear infections etc), more than 10% (bad use of language there as any journo knows that “more than” 10% is 11-100% so is therefore meaningless so let’s say around 10%) and 33% are introverts who don’t learn well in group situations anyway according to Susan Cain. My maths isn’t great but isn’t that 59% (let’s say about 60%) of learners who aren’t hearing what they need to due to poor acoustic design?! Anyone else alarmed by that?
So let’s hope that if there are to be new schools built perhaps to the south-west of Christchurch in the next decade, architects pay heed to this advice. Otherwise, as his “flagship” UK example shows, there will be millions of dollars misspent. Every child surely deserves the chance to hear what is being said in a classroom. And the cost of retrospectively improving poor acoustics isn’t that great.