Martino MOCCHI, Lorena ROCCA, Carlotta SILLANO, Silvia STOCCO | IT |




Sensorial safety: control tools and perceived serenity




The paper investigates the relationship between safety, perceptual experience, and new technologies in the living environment, on multiple scales - from the human body to the city. The theme of "safety" represents an increasingly important issue in urban environments, due to the spread of multiculturalism that generates situations of social fragility. This circumstance constantly places the individual in contact with a “frightening diversity” that cannot be related to any familiar model, generating new social patterns. The most widely used solution to cope with this situation - in view of making cities safer - is the installation of surveillance tools, security cameras, sensors: an increasingly sophisticated and accurate digital system which, in fact, delegates to the impersonal eye of the camera an idea of "protection" previously guaranteed by the sense of community, the mutual assistance and support among citizens. In spite of the sometimes reassuring data, these measures neglect the problem of "perceived safety": an aspect that concerns an emotional dimension that is not related to raw security. The visual surveillance of the territory can’t grant this sense of serenity that should be rather generated by the construction of a perceptual balance between its elements including sounds, design, lights, colors, smells. This reflection introduces a more sophisticated framing of the safety issue, in a multisensory horizon. Even in the domestic context, the safety of daily actions - i.e. energy management, food preparation, physical activities - passes through the control of those technologies included in the category of Internet of Things: tools able to receive information from the environment and to emit signals about possible changes in the state of things or possible dangers. IoT was born to allow objects to communicate with each other, but it’s today a system that allows objects to talk to human beings - mainly through sound (according to the affirmation of Internet of Sounds) - with all the opportunities and risks that follow, precisely in the domain of security, perception, and perception of safety. The paper intends to examine these issues, highlighting the urgency of promoting an active perception of the multisensorial signals coming from the human, natural and architectonic environment around us. The research aims to support the effectiveness of its conclusions through an experimental-empirical survey in the Ticino region, interested in a peculiar use of alarm sirens.




Martino Mocchi, born in 1982, got the second cycle Degree in Philosophy (University of Pavia) and the Ph.D. in "Design and Technology for the Cultural Heritage Enhancement" (Politecnico di Milano). His research focuses on the intersection between Architecture and Philosophy, revolving around themes such as the perception of landscape, the multisensory experience of space, and the soundscape. He is the author of many publications on these themes – the last one “Città di suono. Per un incontro tra architettura e paesaggio sonoro”, published by LetteraVentidue (2020). He is Lecturer and Research Fellow at Politecnico di Milano - ABC Department. Carlotta Sillano graduated in Communication and Media Cultures at the University of Turin in 2016, later earning a Ph.D. in Digital Humanities at the University of Genoa. Her research investigates the relationship between sound, places, and artistic languages. She is a postdoctoral research collaborator at SUPSI (University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland) where she is part of the research group Paesaggi Sonori. As a musician and songwriter, she published three studio albums.