Sound Pods

Author’s description:
Freedom of speech is among the most important ideals in the United States, and has been since its founding. The First Amendment protects opinions and perspectives of individuals and their right to proclaim these to the world. However, the US has also directly contradicted First Amendment rights over the course of its history. The Amplified Noise Amendment Act of 2018 in Washington D.C. may impact the capabilities for street musicians to earn a living and survive. This legislation was a response to continuous noise complaints. While residents and office workers were cheering at the announcement, local musicians were outraged and concerned. This led to a conversation about the racial, cultural, and socioeconomic status of performing artists.

This bill is important because it represents a threat to First Amendment rights not just for musicians, but for everyone. Furthermore, it restricts the freedom public spaces allow the general public. Celebrities have the luxury of being able to pay for an expensive venue but street artists depended on the protected freedom of using the street and that was taken away. Sound Pods give freedom back to all musicians Sound Pods provide an alternative solution to these restriction by providing a welcoming and respectful environment for performers and speakers of all kinds, while maintaining an appropriate environment for residents and workers who desire peace and quiet.

The Sound Pods will be located in a high traffic, popular area of downtown Washington D.C. The completely free podium-style space achieves high acoustic and visual performance. While Sound Pods control sounds, they also enrich and add visual elements with reactive surfaces that respond to sounds with color and light. The Pods are smaller and more flexible to allow for customization of sounds levels according to preference and needs. In order to compromise with the needs of a busy downtown area, the pods can be hidden underground when not being used to allow the spaces above to be used as necessary. Since truly free public space is disappearing across the country, Sound Pods are a way to recreate public spaces that compromise between free speech rights and the desire for quiet.

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