Using the urban portmanteau terms “coffice” and “coffitivity” as a starting point, this paper examines ideas around sound and productivity with a focus on coffee shop ambiences. The project considers café soundscapes “soundscapes of productivity” reflective of changing attention spans, work process, and stress management that invoke cultural histories of Muzak, personalized sonic spaces, and the sonic management of everyday life. A result of over six years of ethnographic observations, recordings, and decibel measurements, Soundscapes of Productivity has also been compiled into a Story Map as a kind of soundwork collage of different coffee shop ambiences in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver is used here for its local specificity, including a rapidly gentrifying urban infrastructure and a creative freelance haven with aspirations to be the Canadian Silicon Valley. The project presents an opportunity to link scientific discourses of the stimulus response model of sonic productivity historically and politically with the modern practice of productivity playlists, and bridge them together with acoustic environments seemingly replicating former factory production—environments such as the urban coffee shop.

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