Computational Designing for Auditory Environments
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This paper is a call for sonification designers to adapt their representational practices from that of designing objects for auditory engagement to the construction of systems of formally described relationships that define the ‘state space’ from which streams of such objects can be drawn. This shift from the crafting individual sonic objects and streams to defining dynamical space of design possibilities we call ‘computational designing’. Such sonification model spaces are inaudible, heard only through its instances, or the manifestations of particular trajectories through the space. Approaching the design of auditory displays as computational tasks poses both considerable challenges and opportunities. These challenges are often understood to be technical, requiring scripting or programming skills, however the main challenge lies in computational design thinking which is not best understood as the extension of established designing processes. The intellectual foundations of computational designing rest at the confluence of multiple fields ranging from mathematics, computer science and systems science to biology, psychophysical and cognitive perception, social science, music theory and philosophy. This paper outlines the fundamental concepts of computational design thinking based on seminal ideas from these fields and explores how they it might be applied to the construction of models for synthesized auditory environments.