STEM Blossoms

It has been a great year for the Hajjar STEM Center at Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey, a project we recently completed with Gensler—it has been featured in Fast Company, CNNArchitect Magazine, and Business Insider, and was just announced as a 2016 Award of Merit winner by the AIA’s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE).  The building’s open and flexible learning environment encourages collaboration and experimentation, with acoustical treatments targeting clear communication and sound separation.

Spotify spotted

Spotify’s 54,000 square foot expansion to their Flatiron office was recently featured in Contract Magazine. Continuing our long collaboration with Spotify and TPG Architecture, we strove to meet the client’s acoustical performance needs within the highly-customized, uniquely-curated aesthetic design. Filled with one-of-a-kind art and furniture and avoiding the typical “design tropes of startups and tech firms”, the open squad-based workspace also includes a cafe, lounge, library, wellness rooms, and a fabrication workshop.

Spotify

Did you hear about LREI?

We had the pleasure of working with ABA Studio on the expansion and renovation of the Little Red Elisabeth Irwin  High School, which is featured on the cover of Contract Magazine!   A truly interesting project that added new collaborative education and active learning spaces and created a sense of community with new public spaces…Congratulations to ABA and the LREI team for job well done!

LREI

sketch by Karl Jensen / ABA Studio

Insight on Insight

Featured in the September 2015 issue of Interior Design is our project for Insight Venture Partners with Smith Maran Architecture.  This 32,000 square foot corporate interior in the Grace Building combines “the seriousness of finance” with a “downtown groove”, while paying homage to the building’s famous convex white travertine facade.  Acoustic privacy and sound quality were paramount given the sensitivity of venture capital negotiation, and the project included fitness and game room areas requiring unique acoustic treatments.

Insight Venture Partners interior

It’s getting kind of hectic

Those tremors you feel in your high-rise building may not be an earthquake.  Ten minutes of violent shaking in a 39-story Seoul skyscraper were attributed in 2011 to “17 middle-aged people” doing Tae Bo to “The Power” by early 1990s German hitmakers Snap!

Every building has its own natural resonances that can be excited by rhythmic activity.  In most buildings these resonances are relatively docile and hard to excite, but when wide structural spans and thin slabs lead to a low natural frequency, it doesn’t take many kickboxers to get things…kind of hectic.

Sight of sound

Your eardrum converts the motion of the air into something you can hear, but what if everything around you could work the same way? In a recent TED Talk, MIT researcher Abe Davis demonstrates cutting edge research into extracting audio from silent video of everyday objects exposed to sound. Using high-speed video equipment and even a consumer-level camera, he extracts intelligible music and speech just by watching a nearby houseplant or a snack bag—the proverbial “fly on the wall”. Acknowledging the surveillance possibilities (which were already feasible using lasers), the research pushes beyond audio to expose the natural modal movement of an object by simply ensonifying it and recording what happens, allowing one to push, pull, and shake something virtually without ever touching it.