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Environmental Acoustics

Acoustic environment is one of the key factors in ensuring the quality of our living space. To achieve good urban environment having less stresses in both physiological and psychological aspects, it is important to optimize the parameters regarding this factor. The conception of the acoustic environment changes depending on the fundamental goals and purposes of sound and space. Our research and education programs for this theme are the survey of the conception for acoustic environment of human space, and control for the optimization by total consideration of the relation between physical properties and human responses. This includes the following: the development of new acoustic materials and structures; the development of new technologies in sound field measurement, prediction, control, and display systems; acoustic design as applications of these technologies.

Academic Staff

Makoto OTANI

Associate Professor (Graduate School of Engineering)

Research Topics

  • Auralization of sound space
  • Mechanism of auditory space perception
  • Development of virtual auditory display


Room 386, Bldg. C1, Katsura Campus
TEL: +81-75-383-3291
FAX: +81-75-383-3291
E-mail: otani@archi.kyoto-u.ac.jp

Research Topics

Development of the sound field calculation method based on wave theory.

Main theme of this research is the development of the sound field calculation method in the inside and outside of the building to design the sound space and to control the noise.
Moreover, we aims at the development of the tools which is possible to facilitate understanding of various sound phenomena, to design of space or to reform when trouble occurs, by using the simulation results.

Fig. 1  Example of analyzing sound pressure level distribution in stage and the first floor seat in concert hall (A negative range of X is a stage)

Physical properties of the sound field and its subjective evaluation

Methods for evaluating the sound field in terms of volume, time, and space, have been widely studied. However, using the developed indexes does not always guarantee a good sound field. More extensive survey for indexes having a good correspondence to our hearing sense and used as a good tool for acoustic design is required and is now under investigation.

Fig.2 Experiments for acoustic diffuse-reflections and its evaluation.

The development and application of acoustic materials and structures

The acoustic characteristics of materials, which form the sound field, can be described in terms of sound insulation, absorption, reflection, scattering and sound radiation. These are the subjects of study, which are analyzed both theoretically and experimentally.

Fig.3 Experiments for development of new acoustic materials by using an acoustic tube.

Auralization of sound field

Enabling an auditory experience of sound space inside an architectural space in advance to its completion, that is, so-called “auralization”, would greatly facilitate an architectural design of acoustic space. To realize highly-precise auralization that is not distinguishable with an actual sound space, we are conducting research on two key technologies: 1) Precise prediction of sound field inside a room and around a human’s body, and 2) auditory display that presents a sound space with its spatial information included to a listener.

Fig. 4 Example of numerical simulation of sound wave behavior around pinna