Kings Cross Station, London

Kings Cross Station, London

Sound and Train Stations: Space and Context

I recorded a few more Audioboo posts on my recent travels to Manchester and Cambridge, respectively. I am kicking myself for not recording the train stations of Cambridge and Manchester Piccadilly themselves as the sounds there were completely different than in the beautiful behemoths of Euston and Kings Cross. I am convinced each of these places has their own register, their own aural signature that informs the context and the understanding of that place. I love investigations into this type of space, how our non-visual senses inform the context and the layering of meaning that space provides. There are few finer examples of this type of exploration than the London Sound Survey, which might have been my motivation for trying something myself with Audioboo in Korea, the US, and now the UK.

Euston Station, London

Kings Cross Station, London

Multimodality and the Flow of Sound

I am further convinced that multimodal constructions, an intentional intersection of audio, text, visual, kinesthetic activity, are the most authentic productions of creativity and comprehension that learners can generate. They can and should be viewed not only as equal in stature to purely textual constructions, but as transversing a much broader scope of meaning. I am referring yet again to multimodality so I won’t bore you with further detail. I will say that constructing knowledge constructs (and when I say knowledge constructs, I basically mean an output, like an assessable submittable ‘essay’) represents a fairly agile sense of mode, a robust sense of how each of these modes has significant strengths and weaknesses for presenting a particular meaning, and a creativity inspired by generating ‘something’. In short, we can and should begin to see learners as artists, assimilating and creating at every stage of the process with each and every mode at their disposal. And sound is a huge part of that. How does sound flow through an activity system like the one below (sorry, I just like this image)? How does it mediate activity and how is it mediated by learners? How does it inform the space? Imagine knowledge constructions with audio, video, image, text, and kinesthetic elements (flow) constructed routinely by learners in formalized modes of instruction. I can. I also think it should happen in mobile technology.

Thesis Illustration

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

3 thoughts on “Euston Station and Kings Cross Station, London: Sounds of transit and motion”
  1. Thanks for the comment. I am interested in all multimodal/multisensory projects like the one your site seems to be outlining. I am curious to learn more about your project and to see if we can collaborate on anything, short of John Waters’ Smell-O-Vision ( There is no doubt that particular locations have particular smells, some subdued while others are just overwhelming. I still smell the propane/burning tire scent of certain cities in Africa, the original crisp funk of Seoul, etc. The olfactory is such a powerful force. Great project!

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