What Sound Looks Like

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt

A doorbell doesn’t always trigger a sound that the person hitting the button can hear. At a large apartment complex, it may trigger a tone many floors up, many walls past, many steps deep into the building. And those concerns don’t begin to factor in street noise and weather. How does the visitor know that the doorbell has done its job? How are we socialized to not hit it again and again when we don’t hear the bell ring? In this specific case, an additional sound element entirely is referenced: The visitors only know they have been welcomed into the building when a tiny click is provided by the lock mechanism. It’s like a mechanical intercom, an especially lofi and succinct Morse Code, a simple binary operation in which the silence of a null return means “Go away.”

An ongoing series cross-posted from instagram.com/dsqt.

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