Wednesday, Feb. 15th 2023

Acoustical Design Focused Lecture Given By This Month’s Avant Spotlight Recipient

We have some acoustical design news to cover in this month’s AVANT Acoustics Team Member Spotlight. One of our designers, Andrew VonFeldt recently gave a lecture to KU students over two locations. Our spotlight this month allowed Andrew a chance to discuss the lecture and talk about how it went.
Acoustical Design lecture
Who was the audience?
The lecture was for a KU architecture class.  The professor for the class is Bryan Gross who we have worked with at Helix for many years.  He is starting to teach some architecture courses at KU as he is phasing into retirement from practicing architecture.  There were 11 students in this class.
What was your main topic of discussion?
The main topic of the lecture was acoustical design with regard to Black Box Theaters and Recital Halls.  The particular architecture class is a studio class where the students will be designing a performing arts building that will include those two types of acoustically significant spaces.  The goal of the lecture was to help the students understand the overall acoustical goals and basic design strategies for these spaces.
Where was the lecture?
The lecture was split across two venues.  The first part was at the Goppert Performing Arts building at Avila University.  We spent time in the black box theater and a choral rehearsal room there.  The second part of the lecture was at the Grant Hall Recital Hall at UMKC.
What significance was there in this location?
The primary focus was on the Black Box Theater and the Recital Hall as these are the spaces they are designing as part of their coursework.  These two projects happened to be spaces that we worked on with Helix that we could show to the students.
What were some highlights during the Q&A period?
There was not a ton of Q&A, but the few questions that the students had were all very creative and showed that they were trying to think outside the box and stretch the boundaries of architectural design while providing well-functioning spaces.  Overall, it was heartening to see quite a bit of enthusiasm from the students with regard to acoustical design.
What else would you like to add?
One thing I found interesting is that the course is called Materials and Tectonics.  I had to look up what tectonics meant in the context of architecture.  It refers to designing architecture beyond the bare requisite materials necessary for the building and ultimately creating spaces that both perform their function but are also a form of art.  I mentioned to them in my lecture that acoustics is also a blend of science and art and that it was exciting that we were talking about acoustical design within the framework of this course on materials and tectonics. I hope you enjoyed the experience! Talking with young people is always fun to me.  – It was a lot of fun!  I ended up talking for about two hours overall, so it wore my voice out a little bit.
If you need help with acoustical design for an upcoming project, AVANT Acoustics has a qualified and experienced team that can handle the job. Headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, our team is prepared to work on projects around the world. Call us at (913) 888-9111 or click here to contact us online to begin consultations.

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