Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; you’re my only hope. – Princess Leia STAR WARS
Is the big city life a little too noisy for you? Is all the honking and screaming really getting to you? Would a visual meter of the noise level and the ruckus assist in getting people to realize we are simply too loud?
Volumen, designed by Sergio Avello, is a large meter presenting the urban noise level outside the Relegaleria in Buenos Aires. It resembles the Art Lebedev design of the remote control with a button for every channel, but is actually built and standing.
The volume levels are visually indicated by the different cells and colors on the large art piece and shown in real time.
When I first read about this, I immediately thought of the Lincoln Tunnel in New York City. As drivers are getting close to its entrance, there are signs mentioning a fine if they honk their horn. This may be a tactic to prevent honking, but the sound of the city is still extremely strong, and fine or no fine, we still drown in it.
The Volumen concept may not be as practical; to build a tall standing piece in main city parts, but it sure does present a positive concept. The idea of illustrating passing individuals how loud the area truly is may help people to decrease the noise level a few notches.
Is your city of residence too loud? Would the Volumen meter help reduce the noise or just get drowned in it?
Additional images may be found at the Sergio Avello’s page,