Noise. A so seemingly harmless word that is able to cause thousands and thousands of headaches every day worldwide. Endless traffic jams, alarms going off, motors working, people speaking loudly on the telephone and air conditioning systems working non-stop make cities be aggressive and uncomfortable places to live in.
Although mattress repairmen, knife-sharpeners and gas men left the streets a long time ago, year after year noise pollution continues growing. According to the World Health Organization, 80 million Europeans handle unacceptable noise levels every day, which clearly affects their quality of life. Even more, 76% of the world’s population is exposed to levels higher than tolerated by a healthy ear (65 dB). But, there is an architect who has devised a project that is aimed at isolating ourselves from the sound for some time with something as simple as having urban cubicles back.
This is “Cube of Silence”, a space for silence which is sufficiently comfortable to relax, concentrate on an important matter or even work.
As its author says, Domenico di Siena, “there are many occasions where a citizen needs silence to make a phone call, write something…”. This is the reason why he proposes these silence islands, which are promoted by the urban innovation agency and knowledge management Human Urban (Urbano Humano).
They are chargeable cubicles and are distributed around the city for any type of spaces or quarters. Users can pay with coins, credit card or mobile telephone. Once the time paid has finished, the cubicle will open and silence finish. It is that simple.
But the intention is not to exile people from the world: cubicles are provided with Internet connection and allow them to connect to the electricity network. They also offer the possibility to play with other cubicles in the net or even with pedestrians by means of led screens outside.