Henry Harris

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On the third floor of Arup Global Acoustics office in Lower Manhattan is a small, fabric-enclosed space that looks and feels like a cocoon.

The company line is that the SoundLab creates virtual sonic environments to help architects improve the acoustics of their buildings.

We re using the data to help you feel, says Raj Patel, Principal at Arup Global Acoustics.

To make it work, engineers build a computer model of a building or space and then map a web of measurements called impulse responses that create an acoustic signature.

Patel and his colleagues are coordinating with researchers to recreate sensations of light, touch, temperature, and even smell.

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