Spatial Sound

Cities of the Deaf

Reem Khorshid

Cities of the deaf comprises of a series of field recordings of various sonic elements from the city of Budapest. With urbanism as a centerpiece of the study, the project builds upon research on cities and urban planning, investigating and (re)creating communal listening experiences, aiming to immerse the average listener into the complex sonic realities of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

An imaginary public space is designed and populated with field recordings of the sounds of Budapest. Sonic substances such as ambience, streets, trams, cars, trees and people were combined and altered to generate the different sonic-spatial urban scenes experienced by deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

Reem Khorshid, a deaf architect and a cochlear implant user, hopes to continue developing this sound survey, documenting sounds from different sonic topographies of cities around the world. The study could also be considered an interdisciplinary contribution to the work of architects and planners, helping formulate sensory knowledge and develop concepts to be adopted to design accessible spaces.

Read her recent published work on hearing Cairo at

The project was sponsored by Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah

Photo credit: Bence Mladin SSI Video/Photographer