What are characteristic features of functional sounds? How can functional sounds be described as part of a culturally specific process? How can field research be conducted that explores the personal, professional, interactive and institutional processes of sound design practice? What can a written publication (as the final outcome of the research project) look like that combines the findings of both field research and archival work with cultural analysis and design theory in order to develop a sound design theory of functional sounds?
These and other questions were dealt with in the first internal workshop of the research project Functional Sounds, based at the Sound Studies Lab at the Humboldt University Berlin that took place on July 6, 2012. Experts from different disciplinary and professional backgrounds were invited to present specific examples and aspects from their own research and to comment on and discuss with us the problems, methods and preliminary findings at this early stage of the research project Functional Sounds.