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Decibel Landscape
Today's BLDGBLOG entry reminded me of this map of road traffic noise in Paris. The noisiest are in blues or reds. At the other end of the decibel spectrum, greens.

Map of Road Traffic Noise in Paris

Map of Road Traffic Noise in Paris

Map of Road Traffic Noise in Paris

A Nolli map of Paris.

And there is even a 3-D map, with the colors now transferred onto the facade of buildings and structures. Inner courtyards are expectedly green and those fronting the busiest streets are typically in blues and reds. And here's an interesting snippet from the how-to section: “as the [express ring road] is semi-subterranean, lower storeys are less exposed to sound nuisances than higher storeys.”

Map of Road Traffic Noise in Paris

It would be awesome to see these palettes actually get painted onto the sides of buildings. Or how about covering an entire building, noise-abatement walls, bus shelters, billboards, people, etc. with LED lights, which would then display these ever fluctuating colors. A sort of Albert Speer or a Pink Floyd light show spectacular.

Some noisy big rig or a fleet of puttering mopeds passes by, and the entire facade turns blue. In real time! Like a techno-robotic chameleon.

But having spent millions on a programmable lighting system, you probably wouldn't want to use it for just one light trick. So when you're being robbed at gunpoint by members of the Dubai Liberation Front, the exterior pulsates in Severe-Terror-Alert red, hopefully alerting the Department of Homeland Security.

And when co-workers are having illicit office sex, the exterior also blushes in, what else, red. The possibilities are limitless.

In the meantime, how about those 2-D maps marketed as real-time, data-generated canvases, which would be kinda nice right next to the Van Gogh or to the Velvet Elvis. Or even alongside Pierantonio Cinzano's light pollution map. A minimalist painting by day, but by night, it becomes a bravura pointilist masterpiece. A new genre of landscape painting.

Artificial Night Sky


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