We chart the design and deployment of The Rough Mile: a multi-layered locative audio walk that blends pre-recorded spoken word, original music, and ambient environmental sound with real-time external ambient sound by employing bone conduction headphones. The design of the walking experience - set in a city centre streets - deliberately sought to explore novel mechanisms to create thematic and functional relationships between the layers of audio and attributes of the built environment, with the intention of constructing an augmented environment where the sounds of real and fictional are blurred. Twenty-six participants completed the walk describing an absorbing and well paced experience that encouraged them to view the location with an altered perspective, one that pulled aspects of the built environment and its population into the fictional story. We distil the findings and present a set of implications for the design of such locative walking experiences.
Hazzard, A., Spence, J., Greenhalgh, C., & McGrath, S. (2017). The Rough Mile: Reframing Location Through Locative Audio. In AM '17: Proceedings of the 12th International Audio Mostly Conference on Augmented and Participatory Sound and Music Experiences (1-8). https://doi.org/10.1145/3123514.3123540