The Quiet Mark Podcast has recently been included in Best Startup's 20 Best UK Health Podcasts of 2021, and is one of the top 10% most popular shows out of 2.4M podcasts globally, ranked by Listen Score.
Hosted by Simon Gosling, CMO at Quiet Mark, this series uniquely explores the vital role acoustics will play in the future of global living, building and product design sharing conversations with thought-leading designers, architects, and sound experts.
Below are selection of episodes for you to enjoy.
17 May 2021
It's May 17th 2021 as this episode is published. Today, lockdown rules have eased in England, Scotland and Wales. Pubs and restaurants are able to serve customers indoors, and social distancing guidelines have been relaxed. Indoor entertainment such as museums, cinemas and children's play areas can open, as can theatres, concert halls, conference centres, and sports stadiums.
At long last, it seems that we are returning to some form of normality. But, what about Business Office Workers? A recent Deloitte survey found that 32% of workers plan to continue working from home, even post-pandemic. The CIPD website states, "As businesses work towards reopening, employers must plan for a return to the workplace in ways that care for their people and safeguards their health and well-being".
People have become very comfy working from home. Many like the flexibility it can offer and don't miss the stress of the daily commute. Businesses may need to demonstrate to their workers that improvements and renovations have been made, which help increase their productivity and ease stress, to entice them back into the workspace.
In Ep. 2 of The Quiet Mark Podcast, Ethan Bourdeau - Sound Lead at The International WELL Building Institute, explained the importance of acoustics, as one of several concepts that are rated in WELL Building certification. In February last year, Quiet Mark launched its Acoustics Academy, a free-to-use online directory of verified acoustic products for the built environment. Our most recent addition to the Acoustics Academy is BuzziSpace, a company that promotes happy and healthy workspaces around the world, creating beautiful acoustic furniture and lighting solutions that accommodate the changing workplace.
So, with 'Return to Work' in the headlines, and BuzziSpace being our newest Acoustics Academy members, it seems timely to focus this episode on the role of acoustics in the workspace and the art of acoustic product design. Joining our host, Simon Gosling, to discuss these themes, we're delighted to be joined by 2 leading experts in the field; multi award-winning design guru Axel Enthoven - Founder of Yellow Window Design and Rhodes University B.A. Psychology, Philosophy, Richard Ellerbeck - Global Acoustic Consultant at BuzziSpace.
9 March 2021
Our guest on this episode is Dr. Elif Ozcan Vieira - Associate Professor in Sound-driven Design and Research at the TU Delft Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. She's currently working mainly in the fields of space operations, and healthcare - both of which she discusses with our host, Simon Gosling, on the show.
Top education and research are central to TU Delft, the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. Their 8 faculties offer 16 bachelor's and more than 30 master's degree programs. Their more than 25,000 students and 6,000 employees share a fascination with science, design and technology. Their shared mission: impact for a better society. (Something that resonates very well with us here at Quiet Mark!)
Elif is the director of the Critical Alarms Lab (CAL), which is a new initiative of the TU Delft Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. CAL aims to shape the future of product-user interactions in complex environments through audible, visual, and haptic information design. The lab is a flexible consortium of individuals, institutes, and companies, and it offers multiple opportunities for student participation.
In fact, it's that healthcare connection that brought us together because Elif was kindly introduced to us by a previous guest on our podcast, Yoko Sen, an ambient musician who's applying talents and skills to transforming the sounds of alarms in hospitals, to make them less stressful, more natural-sounding environments. This is something with which she collaborates with Elif and you'll hear Elif's own experiences of their pioneering partnership in this episode.
As an Associate Professor at the TU Delft Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Elif teaches and does research on `form and experience-driven and `sound-driven' design. Her academic career started at the TU Delft as well, with doing a Ph.D. study on product sounds (`Product sounds: Fundamentals and application'). With this study, she is the first to establish a comprehensive theory about product sounds based on empirical evidence.
9 March 2021
Our guest on Episode 18 is John Lopos, CEO of The National Sleep Foundation, released a week before their annual SLEEP AWARENESS WEEK, 14th to 20th March, 2021. This annual event celebrates sleep health and encourages the public to prioritize sleep to improve overall health and wellbeing.
With Stanford research showing an incredible 42 percent of the U.S. labor force now working from home full-time, a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, The Quiet Mark Podcast host, Simon Gosling, asks:
“What impact can The New Normal have on our sleep routines?”
Working from home in many ways reduces the need for such a rigid bedtime and wake up time, in large part because we no longer have a commute to contend with. As nice as this extra time is in the morning, the lack of separation between work and rest times can make it hard to wind down and fall asleep at night when we have been at home all day.
WFH is all very well, but it’s also vitally important to take time to be HFW (Home From Work)!
With nearly 30 years of diverse experience across multiple healthcare and non-profit organizations, John Lopos has longstanding ties to the sleep health community, including his relationship with the NSF for the past 17 years. Most recently, he served for 8 years as an NSF Director, having been active on several task forces and committees including Development, Public Awareness, Compensation, and Finance. He also has been part of the organization’s advocacy on Capitol Hill for the past several years.
National Sleep Foundation (NSF) is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, the NSF is committed to advancing excellence in sleep health theory, research, and practice.
12 April 2020
It’s our great pleasure to introduce our first guests: Richard Grove, Group Acoustic Director at BDP and Colin Ball, Lighting Director at BDP, Building Design Partnership.
Whilst we originally recorded our conversation at the Acoustics Academy launch event in February 2020, soon after, the Coronavirus changed life as we knew it, lockdown meant that we started working from home. So, on 8th April, we remotely recorded an extra section talking through insights into the building of the Nightingale Hospital and Richard’s unfortunate experience, battling with Coronavirus symptom.
Colin is a leading designer of international excellence and repute. He leads the award winning London lighting studio. Educated in architecture, Colin has subsequently worked as a lighting designer for 21 years, with 10 years experience at Speirs + Major and 6 years at Isometrix Lighting + Design prior to joining BDP in 2011.
Richard is Acoustics Director and leads the Acoustics team in BDP’s Environmental Design Studio in London and has led the development of the recently launched Acoustics Technician Apprenticeship. He has worked in the field of acoustics since 2005, analysing and advising on acoustics and vibration designs in multi-discipline projects for a wide variety of sectors.
12 May 2020
In Episode 2 of The Quiet Mark Podcast, Simon Gosling, CSO at Quiet Mark, enjoys conversations during Lockdown, via Video-Call from NEW YORK, with Carolyn Forte, Director/Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Lab at GOOD HOUSEKEEPING INSTITUTE, Good Housekeeping Magazine, and Ethan Bourdeau, Concept Lead/ Senior Associate at the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).
Like the Quiet Mark Award, The Good Housekeeping Seal and The WELL Certification are standards from trusted third party expert organisations. They each demystify the science, simplifying it for the public or defining it for industry, so that when one sees their mark, seal or certification they know instantly that the item that has received it, be it an appliance or a building, has been verified, thoroughly approved and commended by the longstanding experts.
Carolyn and Ethan discuss how sound and acoustics play a pivotal role in the assessment process of their standards especially now in the world changing around us, explaining how good sound design can not only enhance performance, but is also powerful to fortify well-being, productivity and one's overall mental and physical health.
24 February 2021
"Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)"), or so says the title of the single from Elton John's classic 1973 album, 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', but, here at Quiet Mark, we possibly subscribe more to John Lennon's words in The Plastic Ono Band's 1969 anthemic chant, 'Give Peace a Chance'.
But can sound, (or rather sound design and soundscapes), really have the power to stop people from fighting, and instead return peacefully to their homes, as the clubs empty on busy Saturday Night? Well, that's just one of the many NAS Soundscape Programme's adventures in sound that Lisa Lavia, Managing Director of The Noise Abatement Society (NAS), shares in conversation with our host, Simon Gosling, in this episode of The Quiet Mark Podcast.
'There are no bad sounds. There are only the wrong sounds in the wrong context', explains Lisa as she talks of her work establishing the NAS’ soundscape programme, which has positioned NAS firmly at the global forefront of international soundscape standardisation and applied soundscape practices in the UK through demonstration projects, applied research and policy development.
The Noise Abatement Society campaigns and conducts research, education and outreach to policymakers, indstry, academia, and citizens to solve noise pollution problems for the benefit of all. Listen to Lisa explain its origins, its family ties with Quiet Mark and the work it does to provide solutions to noise pollution, support the next generation of acousticians, encourage better sound design and improve acoustics in the built environment.
18 August 2020
Together, building and construction are responsible for 39% of all carbon emissions in the world, and alongside air traffic and road traffic, construction is one of the biggest sources of noise pollution.
Does it have to be this way? One man who believes construction could be quieter and more sustainable, and whose company is determined to make it so, is Kiss House Co-Founder, Mike Jacob; our guest on Episode 8 of The Quiet Mark Podcast. Kiss House’s motto is simple. Build Better. Live Better.
In 2018 The World Health Organization calculated that at least 1m healthy life-years are lost every year in western European countries because of environmental noise, with cardiovascular disease contributing to the vast majority of these deaths, especially high blood pressure, heart attacks and coronary heart disease. It is thought that noise triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which damages blood vessels over time.
A wave of silence has spread across the planet as man-made noise fell by 50% during worldwide coronavirus lockdowns. Does a return to a new normality necessarily have to bring with it a return to pre-lockdown volume levels?
Air traffic has reduced with less vacation travel and global business meetings increasingly taking place on Zoom and other video call platforms.
With companies such as Google telling employees to stay home until summer 2021, and Twitter announcing that employees could work from home indefinitely, comes a significant reduction in road traffic, with vast numbers of people no longer doing the daily commute.
But what about noise from construction? The number of new homes registered to be built per annum in the UK has risen by more than 80 per cent over the last decade. Ground-working is an especially noisy process, but could much of that be carried out in remote factories, away from neighbourhoods?
Mike discusses this and more with our host, Simon Gosling, explaining the path that lead to Kiss House and their work to disrupt the future of construction, transforming the lives of occupants, for the better.
23 June 2020
How adept are we when it comes to describing sound?
Adrian Passmore is an Acoustician and Associate Director with ARUP, who demystifies the language of sound and acoustics and tells of the latest advancements in technology and virtual reality, which enable stakeholders to experience what a future building project both looks and sounds like before building begins.
Adrian was one of the masterclass speakers at Quiet Mark’s Acoustics Academy launch last February, a video of which can be seen on our Youtube channel, QuietMark TV. This podcast recording was made immediately as we stepped off stage at the February event and we would like to give a quick thank you to our Quiet Mark awarded partners, AllSfär who kindly provided biophilic acoustic murals, which provided excellent, much needed sound proofing and dampening at The Business Design Centre, and they also provided very comfortable acoustic furniture which is perfect for podcast recording and available though our Acoustics Academy platform of verified acoustic products for every building project.
Arup is an independent firm of designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants and technical specialists, working across every aspect of today’s built environment. Headquartered in London, they currently employ over 15K people globally working on projects in over 140 countries.
Arup was born of their founder, Sir Ove Arup’s conviction that a more collaborative and open-minded approach to engineering would lead to work of greater quality and enduring relevance. His legacy is an organisation that continues to be recognised for bravely imaginative solutions to the world’s most challenging projects.
For more than 20 years Adrian has been delivering holistic acoustic building designs. After graduating from the Salford University Electroacoustics degree in 1992, Adrian was employed with an underwater acoustics research company for five years, working primarily for military and petrochemical industries.
In 1997 he began his career in commercial acoustic consultancy, working for Sound Research Laboratories Ltd in London where he gained wide experience in building acoustics, before joining Spectrum Acoustics Limited to assist in setting-up their London office.
He joined Arup Acoustics in 2002 and currently leads their UKIMEA Property business interests, with principal focus on developments containing residential, commercial, hotels and leisure buildings. Adrian also leads the Acoustics’ 28 staff London team. Adrian has led the acoustic design on nationally significant infrastructure projects and major developments, such as: HS2 London Euston and Birmingham Stations; BBC Television Centre, London; Paradise Circus Redevelopment, Birmingham; Earls Court Development, London; Chelsea Barracks, London.
26 January 2021
In this episode, we explore the future sound of hospitals, with ambient electronic musician and the founder of Sen Sound, Yoko Sen. In a recent episode, Marcia Jenneth Epstein, author of SOUND AND NOISE: A Listener's Guide to Everyday Life, spoke of how our sense of hearing still functions in a coma and is the last sense to go when we pass away, which raised the question, 'What's the last sound you'd like to hear?'
Research has demonstrated that 72% to 99% of clinical alarms are false. The high number of false alarms has led to alarm fatigue. Alarm fatigue is sensory overload when clinicians are exposed to an excessive number of alarms, which can result in desensitization to alarms and missed alarms. Patient deaths have been attributed to alarm fatigue. Not only is this volume of sound stressful and exhausting for the clinicians and hospital staff, for the patients it's hardly conducive to their recovery.
With Sen Sound, Yoko pursues a vision to transform the sound environment in hospitals. As a classically trained musician, sensitive to sound, she was disturbed by the noise she had experienced in hospitals as a patient. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to humanize the hospital experience by improving its soundscapes.
Yoko has presented nationally and internationally, including TEDMED (2018) and Aspen Ideas Festival: Health (2019), and her work has been featured in New York Times, BBC, and STAT. Sen Sound’s initiative, “My Last Sound,” was selected as a Top Idea by Open IDEO’s End of Life challenge, involving hundreds of people from around the world sharing the last sound they wish to hear.
Sen Sound has collaborated with companies such as Medtronic to improve the sound experience design of medical devices, and it has been named as a 2020 finalist for the International Design Excellence Award by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Sen Sound has produced a film, “Sounds of Caring: New York,” which has become an official selection at six film festivals internationally and won Bronze Award at Independent Short Awards (Sep 2020).
At this time of a global pandemic, clinicians and medical staff are under intense pressure. Treating an ever increasing number of patients and finding enough emergency beds is far more urgent a priority than sound and acoustics. Nevertheless, news of vaccinations provides hope that we are in the beginnings of an end to this global catastrophe. The work that Yoko does with Sen Sound, and the product development innovation of our Quiet Mark Certified Manufacturer partners, found on our acousticsacademy.com, will all combine to improve the future sound of the hospital experience, be that the joy of the birth of a new child, or the sad passing of a loved one.
9 December 2020
In this episode, we explore ways to equip architects, designers and specifiers with best solutions to solve the major problem of reverberation across very many building types and design scenarios. When reverberation is left untreated, sound bounces around hard surfaces, such as wall, floors and ceilings, spoiling the overall experience of the building and potentially causing daily long-term discomfort to inhabitants. If left off the priority list a building can sound hollow and ugly and not be suitable for its intended purpose.
Of our two guests on Episode 12, one creates beautiful acoustics in iconic buildings, the other provides specification consultancy on new projects to assist Architects, Designers and Contractors with advice on specialist surface finishes
Jack Richardson works as a Senior Acoustic Consultant for Hilson Moran, an engineering consultancy with a reputation for delivering sustainable and innovative designs for the built environment on behalf of people and businesses worldwide.
Spencer Drake is Regional Sales Manager at Armourcoat Surface Finishes, a market-leading manufacturer and specialist contractor of decorative surface finishes. Developed over almost 40 years the company works with a network of agents and customers and enjoys product sales and installation into 80 countries.
In February, Quiet Mark launched its Acoustics Academy, a new online platform to further equip and empower architects, builders and designers with a guide to expertly verified leading acoustic solutions for every building application area. Armourcoat is one such product listed in the Acoustics Academy directory, and host Simon Gosling asks them both about their work and how they recently combined on a luxury swimming pool project within one of London's premier apartment buildings.
Outside of his employment, Jack is a member of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) Southern Branch Committee, where he sits beside various other industry experts sharing the common goal of positively contributing to the future direction of the acoustics industry and raising awareness of the importance of good acoustics in our everyday lives.
Spencer graduated from Reading University in 2000 after studying surveying and joined Armourcoat in 2002. He has an in-depth knowledge of material application, substrate build-up, and colour technology and has worked on many of the UK's most prestigious projects including The Shard, Darwin Cocoon, The Walkie Talkie and The Gherkin.
26 May 2020
In Episode 3 of The Quiet Mark Podcast, Biophilic Designer & BBC DIYSOS team-member, Oliver Heath chats with Simon Gosling about Biophilic Acoustics - what nature can teach us about sound design & how a connection with nature can improve wellbeing.
They recorded 2 conversations for this episode. The first at Oliver's Brighton studio, just before lockdown, soon after he had delivered a Masterclass at the launch of our AcousticsAcademy.com - a new online platform to further equip and empower architects, builders and designers with a guide to expertly verified leading acoustic solutions for every building application area.
The second was in early May, wk. 5 of lockdown, via video-call, in which Oliver shares useful Biophilic WFH tips, on how to bring nature into our homes and improve productivity.
Oliver mentions the benefits of taking Photon Showers and the pleasures of Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese art of Forest Bathing. Coincidentally, Shinrin Yoku is a practise featured in the critical-hit feature film documentary, In Pursuit of Silence, Exec Produced by Quiet Mark CEO, Poppy Szkiler. Quiet Mark co-produced, then funded & delivered the UK & German markets cinema release distribution & promotion of this film by director Patrick Shen.
8 February 2021
10 yrs from now, what sound will transport you straight back to 2020? Clapping Our NHS Heroes? Louder birdsong during lockdown?
In this episode, we explore the first-ever Sound of the Year Awards with Matthew Herbert and Cheryl Tipp. We also look at the huge increase in natural soundscape stream that has occurred during lockdown and discuss the art of field recording.
The inaugural Sound of the Year Awards 2020 is a newly launched celebration of everyday sound (not music) in all its forms presented by The Museum Of Sound in partnership with The New BBC Radiophonic Workshop and others.
The awards aim to highlight the rapidly-growing international community of sound professionals and enthusiasts. During lockdown there has been a chance to hear the world differently, cities, in particular, have been transformed as they’ve emptied. Sound, listening and a healthy sonic environment are becoming recognised as a vital part of our daily lives.
Where there are many awards shows for everything associated with moving images, the time seems right to acknowledge and support those working hard to build and share their knowledge and recordings of moving audio in this new age of sound.
Matthew Herbert - BBC New Radiophonic Workshop & Cheryl Tipp - Curator of Wildlife & Environmental Sounds - British Museum are both Judges at The Sound of the Year Awards. Our host, Simon Gosling, finds out what all the noise is about!
In addition, he asks Cheryl Tipp to share the ins and outs of her role looking after the 250K recorded sounds archive at The British Library and what being a Curator of Natural Sounds at The British Library entails.