Report by Eoin Brazil (Link to official Design Sonore site)
The journey started late on the 12th when I meet Mikael and Stephen at Shannon for the morning flight to Paris. We meet up at the checking desk and in typical fashion arrived in time for some quick refreshments before boarding the plane.
After a quick pint, we traveled onward to the departure gate. The flight was quite pleasant. Finally we reached Paris and in for the normal Ryanair transfer. I just love the way they call Beavauis as Paris! Normal crowd dynamics for both the flight and then the buses and finally we got into Paris and with some use of the excellent Metro we reached the Sorbonne and our hotel.
The symposium kicked off with a short film and then straight into the session on Sound Objects. This can be one of the most confusing areas of terminology due to multiple similar but conflicting definitions as to what a sound object actually is. Pierre Schaeffer's definition was by far the most accepted where the sound is as separated to the greatest extent possible from the visual or cultural influences which can affect it. Al Bregman's work on treating Sound Objects as distinct acoustic phenomena, or gestalts which can be separated into their distinct psychoacoustical properties. Our the Sounding Object project definition of Sound Objects as physical systems, simplified models, and perceptual representations (this is covered in Davide Rochesso's presentation and paper) and is the view that I'd believe and that we follow in our research at the IDC in UL. I've included Davide's explanation and figure below to help set the scene for the session on Sound Objects.
Figure and explanation from Davide Rochesso on what is a sound object in the context of the Sounding Object project.
"On the psicology-physics plane, we highlight important contributions in the art and science of sound, and their applications in human-computer interaction."
The first talk was by Nicolas Bullot et al on "Sounding objects - Les objets sonores" and concentrated on the conceptual issues such metaphysical and epistemological concerns when related to sound perception.The talk presented "located event theory" that is derived from distal theory and states that sound location is critical to event theory as spatial location is the organising principle in sound perception.This can be summed up by the quotes "Sounds are where you hear them" and "An understanding of sound is dependant upon understanding of the spatial situation (of the sound)". Given my siding with Gaver's ecological theory I'm afraid that I wouldn't have much stock in this theory of located events.The next presentation was by Davide Rochesso and was definitely the presentation that set the tone of the day for me. It was entitled "Sound Objects and Sounding Icons: on the identity of non-speech audio" and covered the work by the Sound Object project on sound objects, physical modeling and cartoonification within a HCI context. As I was involved in the project, I'm heavily biased towards this work so go read Davide's paper to prevent my bias influencing what is some truly excellent work. It goes with the emergent view from our research at UL and that derived from the Sound Object project's results that the world of sound can be perceived as an epistemology of impacts, frictions and deformations as opposed to Gaver's trichotomy of primitives of solids, liquids and gases (For more details on this argument, see Mikael's and my work which is covered in Day 2 in the HCI section).
The next presentation in this session was by Rebel et al on "Designing Acoustic Thresholds" from the Sonic Arts Research Center in Belfast. The talk presented their idea of using physical modeling and active transformation to the sound object that this creates a new paradigm for the control and use of sound. I'm pretty sure that this is actually not a new paradigm given similar approaches from NIME and related communities but it is interesting research where the example conga had its natural resonances replaced by virtual resonances and this was then dynamically controlled. The next talk was by Claude Bailblé on "Sonic Imagery" from a cinematic viewpoint. He describes sounds as "mechanoacoustic sources that create a certain fuzziness which spurns the imagination". Several cinematic examples were given and how both on and off screen sound was used to convey feelings, information and imagination which was all evoked from the particular sounds. He describes how "filmgoer can create strong and durable associations between the image (unseen at first) and the source (already heard)" and how that certain sounds which only exist in cinema eg light sabers, etc can be made to be "familiar through a repetition of a similar visual language from one film to another, without having been verified physically elsewhere". The increasingly addition of a soundtrack to a movie which emphasises the physical actions within a scene was also discussed. The theory presented spoke of the perceptual casual chain and how the premotor sensory cortex has an extraordinary agility which can lead to a active imagination in cinema goers.
The second session was entitled "Product" and was a distinctly more practically focused session and aimed to illustrate the use of sound design in various commercial aspects. It was great to have this kind of session as it gives an excellent counterpoint to the prior academic tone and helps give a community a true sense of both practice and research. This session didn't disappoint with everything from phones to cigarette lighters to trains and of course cars covered. One unfortunate aspect of any new community is the issue of terminology which doesn't always translate from research to practice and this was the only negative aspect to some of the talks within this session.
Thomas Hempel from Siemens AG presented "Product sound design: semantic considerations for designing products and their user interfaces" which covered an introduction into usability engineering and semiotics as well as such pertinent concepts such as context of use and information overload. In a very Germanic approach to the problem we were presented with the context of these activities within Siemens, the introduction to the relevant concepts and then the design of Siemens corporate sound scheme. It was a good presentation for people not familiar with the concepts and the use of corporate guidelines should help illustrate the use of sounds to people within a corporation but it was a business oriented presentation and showed to me why I love research and the advantages of working within a academic rather than a corporate environment.
Leave it to the French - the next two presentations in this session really do show how a culture can accept and demand sensory fulfillment. I wish I could bring this as a cultural component to Irish culture. First up was LAPS design which spoke about "Designing Sound for Objects" and spoke about how sound design modifies our listening on the world and how materials exist according to sound coloring. They said that the sound designer's role is to give soul to an object via sound. They again used the semiotics approach but unfortunately they confused the difference between what an auditory icon is and what an earcon is. They also spoke of their approach to creating a sound family so that sounds resemble other members and allow people to infer function and meaning by sound similarity (mainly musical or rhythmic).
Thierry Lageat from EUROSYN presented "Sensory marketing: designing pleasurable products". Thierry made no bones as to the fact that he was very new to this area and that EUROSYN had only recently explored sound as a sensory marketing area. They feel that sound gives a sensory quality to a product and perform a two step evaluation using firstly poly sensorial evaluation (expert listeners who conducted subjective ratings and subjective classification using Quantitative Descriptive Analysis to create a descriptor list for a product) and secondly hedonic testing which is where participants compared a set of products from both the manufacturer and competitors using the descriptors previously created and selected as a preference mapping for the hedonic testing. The results of this testing was then subject to MDS analysis to create a preference mapping grid which provide a tool when particular sounds could be placed within the grid based on participant preferences. This grid could then be easily used to convey the results of the testing to people in marketing or business units within a company. This talk was really more focused at how a solution was provided to allow for research and then communication between disciplines. In one sense you could comment that the talk was not really related to sound design but I'd disagree because it highlighted the necessary function of communicating the results within a company to allow acceptable of what is a new type of sensorial research.
After lunch it was down to the "Practical Aspects of Sound Design" by Joachim Scheuren from Muller-BBM in Germany. This talk highlighted that successful product design crucially depends on anticipating user perceptive associations. He also discussed his company's approach to the analysis of sounds and sound families. An example of thus process was described using work on active sound reduction in an automotive environment. The next talk was from Renault, France and was given on the topic of "Brand sound identity: the case of sporty vehicles" by Benedicte Le Nindre. This presentation focused heavily on brand identity and its place within marketing and how sound is now part of this aspect. The theories of semiotic theory (triadic) and marketing/branding (brand prism) were used to present the case for sound design. The analysis and interpretation of sonic brand identity and the results of a good sound which leads to customer satisfaction were also discussed. Brand sound defined as being an integral part of the product's acoustic identity. The work presented on engine identification of sporty vehicles was presented where participants performed a free categorization task and a likert-like 0-10 free scale judgment for the various sporty engine sounds. This presentation really showed a good all round business perspective and how it could integrate into a well thought out research approach within a corporate environment. Needless to say, this was one of the presentations which I really enjoyed and this is the type of paper I'd give to product designer's who ask what is sound design.
The next talk in this session was by Florent Richard et al from PSA Peugeot Citroën and talked about the HARTIS tool and how sound design can be used in the context of the passenger compartment of a car. The talk discussed how sound quality must be designed as sound proofing now adds new noises such as gearboxes which were previous unheard by the car's occupants. Their idea of a car's soundscape is shown in the diagram below. The HARTIS software was demo ed and is based on both Max/MSP and jMax and also used's IRCAM's ADDITIVE software in the analysis stage. This was the last talk before we headed over to IRCAM for a wine and cheese reception both for the symposium and for the official opening of IRCAM's annual Resonance festival.
Day two started with that one of my favorite Ozzie's Stephen Barras giving us the low down on patterns from both Alexander and later the Gang of Four. This was a continuation of his work within ICAD to promote a patterns repository and wiki for sound designs or functional sounds. It was a little repetitive for me as I've heard this work before in Boston and Sydney but it is really important to create this repository as if it stops us reinventing the wheel for sonic solutions even some of the time its more than worth its weight in gold. He ended an entertaining talk with a call for participation in the Wiki and for contributions to the pattern repository. The next talk focused on "Expressive Text to Speech" by Peter Froehlich from FTW in Vienna. This talk described the work at FTW about adding an expressive element to applications through the use of sound. An example of an expressive email reader was discussed. The next talk was on "A tool for designing sonification of background monitored information sources" by Sylvain Daudé et al from Grenoble in France. This was a very tool-centric talk which described how they applied Ed Chi's visualization process into a similar transformational process for auditory information. As this is an area I have some interest due to my own research, I have to say that I was disappointed as the tool didn't seem to have a download or online example and there was a lack of any experimental study with the tool. I hope that future work will address these issues and allow for a more detailed examination of the tool and the suggested process for data transformation to allow for comparison to other approaches. I think the model based sonification work by Thomas Hermann (see his thesis Sonification for Exploratory Data Analysis or any of his model based sonification papers) is much more of an applicable approach and the fact the authors have overlooked several important papers on this topic from within the ICAD community is also a pity.
The next treat of the day was IRCAM's Phase project, a rival to Phantom as a new haptic controller. The Phase project is developing a haptic platform for the development of sound applications and musical awareness. The presentation included various demos and some especially interesting Max/MSP patches. We later were treated to a look (not a demo due to the queue) of this device in the conference center which was also hosting two sound related exhibitions. After this talk it was time for lunch.
After lunch we were straight into the session "Space" and the first talk was by Bernard Delage and was simply called "Space". Bernard talked about the twelve ways of evoking space and joked that it was easier to build it than talk about it. He talked about how spaces add to sound and how sound & spaces open the memory box. Sounds can help 'glue' a space together and just like colour you can layer sound to create an impression. He also noted that sounds and their spatial characteristics needed to be considered and retained. "Sound is the soul of space" and how a space can grow with both it and the sound over time. As an architect he followed two important principles firstly from Vanderall that "Form follows function" and secondly his own advice that "Small is beautiful". As a final thought he pointed out how light has now been added as a recent addition to space due to cheaper technology and that sound is now approaching as the next addition to space. The next talk was by Gregoire Chelkoff from Grenoble and was entitled "Hearing in Motion". This talk discussed a methologie and a sonic prototype in architecture.They took a kinesic approach which highlighted the sonic opportunities / affordances. Models were built on a human scale and in a controlled sonic environment. Three types of sonic situations were discussed 1) articulation - where a person is moving between two spaces, 2) limited situation - where only a part of the body moves and 3) inclusion - where there is a connection between the spaces without movement. The sonic prototype was a micro urban sonic design of a bus shelter.
The next talk was by acoustic ecologist Nigel Frayne who shared some insights into "Electroacoustic Soundscape Design". His work focuses on designing sound objects for a specific location but with a particular performance in mind. He states that an acoustic environment is synced to function and aesthics of the other elements of the space. He then gave a short overview of several commercial public spaces which he had worked on. Nigel divided soundscape design into three categories of structure, control and authenticity. Structure consists of the following aspects: texture (vertical) which can be further divided into background, mid ground and foreground noises, temporal (horizontal) which relates to both the inter onset time and the predictability of the sounds, spatial (depth) - which relates to the size of the room and whether a listener is in or out of the environment. Control is divided into two aspects. Diffusion which relates to the intelligibility of the sound and cross talk which related to the wanted (diffuse) and unwanted (focus) elements of the sounds. The final category is authenticity which relates to the quality and natural realism of the sounds. Nigel also present some custom software which he used for designing and controlling soundscapes. Further information is available from the Journal of Acoustic Ecology (Nigel is currently its editor) and from various books including one published by Nigel called Electroacoustic soundscapes: Aesthic and Functional Design ISBN: 1-894131-34-7, 2002, Penumbra Press.
IRCAM again was to the fore with a talk on their work in "Creating Auditory Sound Scenes using Wave Field Synthesis". This was a good introduction into WFS and into some of the uses that IRCAM has demonstrated it in. I'd heard a lot of the more technical side to this at DAFx in London last year so I found it a bit repetitive at the high levels it covered but still there were some nice demos. Train stations were the next unlikely topic covered by Julien Tardieu on his talk "Soundscape Design in Train Stations". This talk was divided into three parts: sound signatures of a space, behavioral scenarios within that space and the sound design for that space. The work presented firstly discussed a perceptual study of soundscapes for space recognition. This was achieved by two experiments, a free categorization and verbalisation task experiment and a oriented categorisation of the sounds. These experiments were conducted using 66 train station sounds from 6 distinct locations with 55 participants for the free categorization & verbalisation experiment and 40 new participants for the sound categorisation experiment.The results of these experiments were used to create a set of sound signatures for the spaces within train stations. The locations such as ticketing offices, waiting rooms and corridors, etc were the spaces whilst the sounds were divided into acoustic cues such as sound signals, mechanical sounds, speech signals, human activity sounds and architectural considerations (reverb, etc). The second part of the talk discussed a behavioral scenario which highlighted the elements from the previous experiments and a possible sound scheme for two functions occurring within the space. This was an interesting research work which will further down the line hopefully change the acoustic environments of train stations for the better. A minor note is that although the auditory icons and earcons presented were elementary, this is an earlier stage of the work so I look forward to my next trip via SNCF by which stage some of these soundscapes may be prototyped or even installed.
The final talk of the session was by two Interaction Designers, Karmen Franinovic (ex-Ivrea graduate) and Yon Visell who have founded Zero-Th Studio in Croatia. The title of the talk was "Recycled Soundscape: sonic diversion in the city". This work stemmed from Karmen's thesis project and was about reapprioriating a public space by the citizens. It has two design ideas that the current life in the city is full of stressors (stress causing objects/events) and that a public space should be a site for play and for incidental performance. The work was influenced by Manzini's work on Sustainability and Scenario Building (2003). The installation is a two piece combination of a sound sculpture/capture device and sound re mixer. The first part of the idea is to take a long range directional mike and allow participants to record the activities of the city and space around them, this created the Beludire device. The second part of the idea is to use the idea of a singing bowl influenced by Tibetan prayer bowls as a audio re mixer allowing participants to mix back in the sounds to create a pleasurable and engaging experience. We had a chance to play with this installation in front of IRCAM where it was setup and it was an enjoyable experience. As my short description won't really do justice to the work I recommend that you read the paper in the Symposium proceedings or better yet read Karmen's thesis for further details on this work.
The last day and the first session was on Media. Starting the session was Jean-Jacques Birge with a talk on "Sound design in media: The art of desynchronisation". What can I say about this talk, bloody brilliant ! This was one gentleman who had the attitude and the work to back up his opinions. After the first couple of demos of some of his work I imagine that our Interactive Media students will be directed to examine this type of work prior to them creating any projects. The first piece "Alphabet" was created in 1999 and over many games related to the alphabet as a teaching tool for young children (I think that many of the older children in the audience also wanted a copy!). The approach to navigation in this game was to allow for intuitive discover of the games so that there was no teaching and people were allowed to discover the games and how to play them. Jean-Jacque when designing states that when I "take a picture, what can I add to it with sound" and divides the sound into both on and off screen sounds as off screen sounds can be used to evoke feelings or information. I would recommend a visit to his web site at www.LeCielEstBleu.com as many of the projects and examples are available for download from this site. Jean-Jacque also spoke about the economy of sounds and about accidental synchronism, how to add dialectic effects by changing the written score for a scene within a movie to a different scene within the same movie. He also showed a piece called Sarajevo which used three components, voices, ambiences and noises to create a moving piece. The visuals were that of a sniper but the audio included the voice of a citizen considering about being shot whilst walking in Sarajevo. He also described a really brilliant installation piece called Music Factory which we got to play with later in one of the sound exhibitions in the conference center. Overall, I think that this was one of the best talks at the symposium and I would recommend that anyone interested in the interaction or artistic side of sound design read his paper and review his samples.
The next talk was by Pauline Minevich and Charles Fox from Canada who presented a review of the Immersive Soundscape Symposium held at the University of Regina this summer. Several pieces from various immersive soundscape artists were present including urban guerilla sound art by Peter Hatch, City Soundscapes by Steve Heimbacker and Swing Tuba Lament by Barry Traux. As these were more informal presentations focusing mainly on the artistic pieces, I would recommend that if you are interested you read their paper and look at the Immersive Soundscape Symposium web site. I'll have to admit I enjoyed these artistic works and the presentation also covered some of the technical issues faced when hosting this type of event. Jumping into cinema again the next talk was by Cecile Le Prado and was entitled "The tale of the floating world" which discussed the role of sound design in cinema. This work concentrates on the particular film and I think it appropriate to let Cecile's words set the scene for the movie "Hiroshima. In the morning of August 6th 1945, a bright light invaded the edge of the floating world. A man remembers. The shock, A violent blast. Bodies were stretching out in pain. The dreams of the past are now back in the present, and the visions of the future are in the past. Here he is, the child he was, before. Before the flash. Before the world got disturbed.". The soundtrack is treated as a complete element and includes the design of the music within the design of the sound. The idea is to enforce the idea of Ame which is a Japanese children's song by preparing the audience for its single play by use various acoustic and audio elements to prepare cinema goers for its eventually playing. The graphics, animations and soundscape are vibrant and touching I'd highly recommend this movie for one's personal collection. I think that anyone who has spent some time in Japan can see a portion of that nation's psyche reflected in the underlying currents of the movie.
Moving to the topic of "Designing 'live' sound in televised sports" by Arnt Maaso from University of Oslo in Norway. We were treated to an insight into the current practices of televised sport coverage which actually uses quite a lot more sound design and elements than I would have imagined. Arnt discusses how sport is now a mediated / designed event. In his PhD (2002) he conducted an analysis of programs, documents and interviews related to sound in live sport and he shared some examples from this work mainly concentrating on the Biathlon and Cross country events from 1983-1997. An import event occurred at the Winter Games in Lillihammer in 1994 where stock footage was presented as live to fill time between events and later lead to much controversy. Stock sounds have been used in a similar manner across a multitude of sports since at least that time but yet there is no controversy. His parting thought was to remind us that sound is as designed as images in live television but it does not appear as obviously designed within the scene. The last talk of the symposium was by Peter Philippe Weiss from Corporate Sound AG in Switzerland who spoke on "A jingle is not what this is all about". Peter's talk again touched upon acoustic branding and how products must as well as function be informative, entertaining and possible have emotions. He introduced his idea of the Corporate Soundtrack, the soundtrack of the company and how that branding plus emotional attachment are important aspects in marketing and how sound is a necessary part of it. He described the process of listening and analysis at a company to discover its principles and using these to create a sound design manual with examples and guidelines for use of the Corporate Soundtrack. He presented three case studies on COOP (a retail chain), Tissot (a watch maker) and a new media forum event in Bassel. These were all interesting studies but I'm not sure if he actually addressed the demographical issues with the sounds as the same sound may be cool to a teenager and irrelevant to middle aged person but it is definitely a good starting direction and shows again real world practical examples of sound design in action.
Here's a photographic and video interlude before getting on to the last session which was an open mic session.
Stephen Barras describing our wonderful dinner.
(Real Media Player required)
Below was the panel for the open-mic session with the main discussion points highlighted on the screen behind the panel.
I'm not going to attempt to reiterate the entire debate as this would result in a long winded and at times disjointed coverage of an interesting session. I will however try to cover the comments and contributions that I felt make an honest addition to the body of knowledge that is sound design. The sticky question of what is sound design arouse once again and despite many attempts I don't think anyone got it right. One train felt that sound designers should be further separated into a sound specifier who deals with a technical specification for a composer, a consultant who bridges between the specifier and the composer who actually creates the sound. Another participant from Delft felt that it is similar to a designer who role is to create solutions to problems. Stephen Barras felt that a sound designer was somebody who found problems to solve. Mikael Fernström felt that the role is more akin to that of a facilitator and a visionary but still somebody who solves the problems. Jean-Jacques Birge said that we need to be outlaws and need to break the boundaries of creativity, simply using statistics or following the directions of marketing departments doesn't allow for real creativity as creativity is not simply matching customer expectations. Marketing will adapt and select the best of breed solutions as can be seen with the work of Warhol or Macintosh whereas the bad ideas will simply be dropped. Jean-Jacque further pushed that the design should not merely appropriate as it needs at times to challenge the status quo when creating a new functional design and after time this may be accepted by the public. As a final thought he remind people that as sound designers our designs are affected by social and cultural issues so we must continue to ask the questions "for who?" and "for where?" when creating new designs. Replying to further questions on this topic regarding constraints and specifications, Jean-Jacque replied that some constraints are required to help drive choices and to direct the personal approach to the problem illustrating this with a quotation from a poem he said "To earn my life, I go to the market, the place they sell lies, every morning I take my place among those people". Mikael Fernström talked about how the new term Experience Designer has now been adapted by major companies to illustrate the roles of people in interaction design and sound design and that we need to being the design into other areas of life not simply products. Answering some earlier questions Mikael stated that requirements, rationale and evaluation were all elements within interaction design referring to questions on structure, role and constraints. Mikael then pointed out that we need to teach people to listen to sounds as a start point for new sound designers, "what is a good sounding door sound?" Is it the quality of the door squeaking, the hinges. Stephen said that sound is a design matter and that we need to consider its applications/forms, the various myriad of possibilities, interaction between sounds as well as interactive sounds, the playability of sounds, how can we act on/with these sounds and that we must consider all these and the related sonic affordances. Stephen then quoted Norman (who quoted Hutchinson who produced the theory while Shneiderman produced the demos) on the gulf of execution and the gulf of evaluation and how it shows design is about users.
Taking a side note from my Master's thesis and relating Hutchinson to the direct manipulation interface paradigm, here's what I hope is an illustrative example of this concept.
"Direct manipulation is based on what Hutchins calls model world interaction (1989). The interface provides an environment and functionality or tools that the user applies directly solve a problem. More concisely, it is the user acting through a direct manipulation interface, rather than conversing with it. Hutchins's (1989) concepts of the "gulf of evaluation" (the user must interpret the display) and the "gulf of execution" (the user must determine how to act on the system). Direct manipulation interfaces are thought to reduce these two "gulfs", meaning that the user can more easily understand the system state revealed on the display and more easily figure out how to act on the system to achieve the desired result.
Hutchins, E., 1989, Metaphors for interface design, in: The Structure of Multimodal Dialogue, Eds, Taylor, M. M., Neel, F. and Bouwhuis, D., 11-28, Amsterdam:Elsevier Science Publishers."
In the case of user testing and interaction design we must find a medium between the designers and their expectations and the user's / the public's expectation of the design. It was noted that structured sounds difficult to create to give the same impression/s to all users. A thorny practical question was raised by those working in the various commercial company's "Who should finalise the sound design and make the final signing off on the design?", in many cases designs are normally chosen by the company's president or marketing vice-president.
Andrea's de Polli's debate at SUNY on urban soundscapes had stirred the imaginative juices of Nigel Frayne who went on to talk about the sonic utopia (in place) and that we have the capacity for designing a functional sonic environment. A question which had arising at the SUNY debate was that since we now have the ability to turn off a train when it passes a school (in a sonic sense), how can we design with these capabilities, how can we decide how and when to use them. Nigel also spoke about the synchronization of the city and that in a utopic sound environment that we still need a humanistic appreciation of the design. A lack of sounds can give an appreciation to the soundscape or as evidently pointed out at SUNY the lack of previous sounds such as the removal of airplane noises from the New York soundscape. Peter Froehlich asked how we can model or tune sounds / sonic spots given a high level specification but that these may be usable in function but not in form. A comment was that bad sound design has no function and is merely branding.
There was a general agreement within participants what we need the crossover of related disciplines but that we must also appreciate these disciplines, an example is the one hundred years or so of cinematic history which has has many important sound design discoveries and novel approaches. The murky issue of Ethics arouse in the specific instance of questioning are customer's ready for the new soundscape of cars when they differ from existing soundscapes. Several participants posed questions along the nature of when we change the sounds what happens if they lead to an accident due to misinterpretation of the new sound/s.
One point that was removed early was the question of tools, techniques and methodologies as across the disciplines these exist, what is lacking is a knowledge of the available tools and the transfer of the various techniques and methodologies into the domain. This point highlighted the need for a more formalised community or portal where such knowledge and tools could be distributed and discussed, ensuring both technology and skills transfer whilst growing the community be making it available to a larger number of possible participants.
If I misquoted or misunderstood your particular comment, please email me and I'll correct it but as far as I'm concerned this is a fairly accurate interpretation of the salient points discussed within the debate.
Another early morning! As we had to travel to Porte Maillot to catch the bus to Beavauis we were up bright and early and sorted out all the bills. Another gray and misting day as we left Paris but we did try to find some last minute items in the shopping center at Porte Maillot and discovered that most if not all the shops stick to the ten half in the morning opening which wasn't much good as we had to leave to catch the bus before some of the most promising shops had opened. The trip back was uneventful and we all managed to find our car park tickets as well !
Here a link back to my trip report page, check out the Design Sonore website or you can just head back to my homepage.