Although there may not be many places where visitors find themselves in awe of sound, on a recent trip to my alma mater — Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. where I graduated with a degree in landscape architecture — I was excited to show off just such a place to my wife Julie.

clapping-circle-purdue-university-carex-design-group-2We visited one of my favorite spots on campus — The Clapping Circle in Academy Park behind the university’s student union. It’s a circular patio surrounded by grassy mounds, concrete steps and benches. Although this space seems like any ordinary public outdoor area, when you stand at the center of the patio and clap your hands or speak, you’re greeted by the sound of an echo. I can remember stretching out on the grass between classes and being able to catch snippets of conversation from the center of the space as people passed by.

It’s an awesome landscape architectural feature that doesn’t present itself very often.


And until I returned and set about writing this blog post, I didn’t realize that “sound tourism” is actually a thing. So if you’re ever in Indiana, I encourage you to check out The Clapping Circle (but be careful what you say while you’re in the center because others will be listening!). Or, if you’re interested in other sonic wonders, check out this website on sound tourism.

If you’re looking for help designing your own outdoor space, fill out our contact form or call 865-765-5550. We can’t promise an acoustical wonder, but we can help you create your own special outdoor space where you’ll want to stretch out and relax.

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