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Sound & Acoustics Panel

Moderated by David van der Leer, associate curator of architecture and urban studies at The Guggenheim. Bringing together Richard M. Olcott of Ennead Architects, Hugh Hardy of H3, sound engineer Raj Patel of Arup, and artist Mary Ellen Carroll, we will delve into the sound of city spaces. Learn what designers consider when creating acoustically-sound architecture, and how they design for performing arts venues, religious spaces, and civic locations. Bonus: These insiders will share some of New York's best-kept sonic secrets.

Sponsored by Audi.


Date: Thursday, October 4
Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm (Drinks to follow)


Orchestra of St. Luke's (OSL) | 450 West 37th Street, Suite 502 | New York, NY


$20 | Buy Now


David Van Der Leer, Asst. Curator of Architecture & Urban Studies, Guggenheim

David van der Leer joined the Guggenheim in October 2008 and first worked on the exhibitions Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward and Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum. In May 2011, his Intervals exhibition with the San Francisco-based collective Futurefarmers opened to the public at the museum and around New York City. Together with Curator Maria Nicanor, van der Leer heads the curatorial team of the BMW Guggenheim Lab, an international traveling laboratory for urban experiments and public programs traveling to nine cities over six years. In addition, van der Leer is curating stillspotting nyc, a two-year multidisciplinary project that takes the Guggenheim Museum’s Architecture and Urban Studies programming out into the streets of New York City's five boroughs, hoping to find special moments of stillness and repose. Every three to five months, “stillspots” are identified, created, or transformed by architects, artists, designers, composers, and philosophers into public tours, events, or installations. The fourth and most recent stillspotting nyc edition, Telettrofono, by sound artist Justin Bennett and poet Matthea Harvey, took place along the Staten Island waterfront in July 2012.

Van der Leer is one of the three curators for Spontaneous Interventions at the American Pavilion of the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012, and for the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture of 2011 he was curator of the exhibition And Then It Became a City: Six Cities Under 60. Van der Leer has lectured internationally on architecture and cities and is a regular contributor to publications such as Domus, Mark, The Architect’s Newspaper, Azure, and PIN-UP. Prior to the Guggenheim, van der Leer held editorial and curatorial positions at 010 Publishers in Rotterdam; the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam; and Steven Holl Architects in New York. He received his MA with a focus on urban and architectural theory from the Department of Art and Cultural Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Richard M. Olcott FAIA, FAAR, Partner Ennead Architects

Richard Olcott is a founding partner and Design Principal in Ennead Architects. His work is grounded in the power of architecture as an interpretive medium with the profound ability to communicate the values of contemporary society and have a lasting and meaningful impact upon our culture. Avoiding a preexisting formulaic language, he creates buildings that are at once expressive of their missions and integral to their particular contexts.

His award-winning work includes such recent projects as the Stanford University Bing Concert Hall, Stanford University Anderson Art Gallery, Yale University Art Gallery Renovation and Expansion, Colin Powell Institute at City College of New York, Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, William J. Clinton Presidential Center, WGBH Headquarters, Williams College Paresky Center, and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.

Complementing his professional practice, Mr. Olcott has been active in several professional associations and regulatory agencies. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects, the Municipal Art Society, the Architectural League, and the Preservation Committee of the Municipal Art Society, a private civic organization renowned for its advocacy of trend-setting ideas, including this country’s first zoning regulations and first landmarks preservation laws. Mr. Olcott’s critical and balanced attitude toward the integration of new architecture with the historic urban fabric was recognized by his appointment as a Commissioner of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission where he served from 1996 to 2007. He is the recipient of the American Academy in Rome’s Founders Rome Prize Fellowship for 2003-04. Mr. Olcott earned a Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University in 1979.

Hugh Hardy, FAIA, Principal H3

Hugh Hardy is a recognized authority in the challenge of relating new buildings to existing context. With over 40 years of architectural practice, his ability to define an active urban realm is publicly recognized. Mr. Hardy’s faithful restorations of the New Victory and New Amsterdam theaters were pivotal in the reemergence of 42nd Street.

Mr. hardy lends his eye to each project at H3 including a 30-story glass tower, new “green” building for the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, a federal courthouse, Biloxi’s Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum and a new open air cantina and vocal studios for the Santa Fe Opera.

Recipient of the GSA’s Commissioner's Award for Excellence in Public Architecture, Mr. Hardy helped define this agency’s influential Design Excellence program. He has won multiple national awards and is a sought-after speaker. He is the author of Building Type Basics for Performing Arts Facilities.

Mr. Hardy holds a Master in Fine Arts in Architecture from Princeton University, where he also received his Bachelor of Architecture. He has been a member of the American Institute of Architects since 1963 and belongs to the College of Fellows.

Raj Patel, Arup Sound Lab

Raj Patel is a Principal of Arup and leads their Acoustics and Theatre Consulting Practice in the Americas. A classically trained musician, with a degree in engineering acoustics and vibration, he is a leading international acoustics, audio-visual, and multimedia, consultant and designer.

His work encompasses a wide range of projects in the built environment, from arts and culture to sport, transport to residential, urban design to multimedia art works and installations, with many of the world's highest profile architecture and design practices.

He has pioneered tools to create accurate audio and visual renderings of 3D space, allowing designers to see and hear buildings and multi-media installations before they are built in the Arup SoundLab, a tool that has fundamentally changed the role acoustics plays in the design process. These skills have also led to an increasing involvement in the creation of spaces for the development and presentation of fully immersive, 3d audio-video works.

As a design collaborator he has worked closely with artists including (amongst others) Nick Cave, Lou Reed, Iain Forsythe, Jane Pollard, Bill Fontana, and Marina Rosenfeld, on the design of multimedia art works that have been presented spaces including Tate Modern, The Whitney, MoMA, and The British Film Institute.

He leads multidisciplinary teams in Arup through project creation, planning, programming, development, design, and construction. He has applied this knowledge and experience to assist arts presenters in considering the intersections of new media and traditional arts required to attract and expand new and young audiences.

Mary Ellen Carroll, Artist

Mary Ellen Carroll's prolific career spans more than twenty years and MEC, design studios engages in a range of practices, from art to architecture, performance and film.

Her work has been exhibited at numerous American and international galleries and institutions, including the Whitney Museum-New York, ICA-Philadelphia, the Renaissance Society-Chicago, ICA-London, Museum für Völkerkunde-Munich, MOMUK-Vienna. This fall Carroll was commissioned to realize No. 18, an architectural insertion and research project that establishes the existence of post-war Korean Modernism in Busan, South Korea as a part of the Busan Biennale 2012, directed by Roger Buergel. Presently, her work is included in the following exhibitions: Counter/Production at the Generali Foundation in Vienna, Austria, Open Outcry Furniture realized in collaboration with Simon Dance/Simon Dance Design at R20th Century Gallery, New York, and the Progress of Love at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. She most recently had a solo exhibition at the Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery curated by Mark Wasiuta, Buell Hall, Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Her work belongs to in numerous public and private collections.

Carroll is the recipient of numerous grants and honors, including a Graham Foundation Fellowship for prototype 180 and the AIA’s Artist of the Year Award. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Pollack/Krasner Award, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship.

Carroll’s opus prototype 180 ( is a conceptual work of art and urban alteration that entails the physical rotation and reoccupation of a single family house in the aging, first ring subdivision of Sharpstown in Houston, Texas. In conception and planning for over 10 years, the project is temporally, physically, and structurally organized around its catalytic rotational transformation. While the rotation and relocation of the house on its lot interrupt the relation of the house to its context and to existing street typologies they also signal the altered life of the house as a space devoted to a program that will address the issue of aging neighborhoods and their potential futures. prototype 180 strategically intersects conceptual art projects, social activism, urban legislation and economic processes. Its 180 degree reorientation registers aesthetically against a history of critical house alterations and administratively in relation to Houston’s unregulated land use policies and its absence of zoning.

She received her undergraduate degree in Land Management from the University of Colorado and worked with Betty Woodman and Stan Brakhage and her MFA in Time Arts with additional coursework in architectural history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A monograph of her work published by SteidlMACK (London and Gottingen) received the AIGA’s Book of the Year Award. Carroll lectures in the architecture school at Rice University and is working with Professor Edward Knightly and his wireless networking group on developing white space in the US, Latin America, Africa and Europe.

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