Machinery, traffic and other people make our existence loud as hell – but can we use technology to retune the urban world?
I have heard the future, and it sounds like dog food sliding slowly out of a can. In Terminator 2, that's the sound the film-makers used when the liquid T-1000 walked straight through the bars of a prison cell.
Should you live long enough to get your own Tie fighter, you will (according to Star Wars sound designer Ben Burtt) be tooling around emitting the sound of a "drastically altered elephant bellow". Perhaps more than any other professionals – well, certainly more than those who don't spend their office hours pulling chickens apart in front of a microphone – these designers have considered what cities might sound like in years to come.