THE COLLABORATORY SURFACE
2014-2015 | THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
COCKRELL SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING COLLABORATORS: MICHAEL HABERMAN,
YING XU, GREG ENENSTEIN, DAN HEMME, & CHENYANG BI
DESIGN TEAM: CLAY ODOM, TAMIE GLASS, JEN WONG, & ZACH WALTERS
ROLE: RESEARCH ASSISTANT FOR PRELIMINARY DESIGN THROUGH BUILD
This acoustical wall system was designed and fabricated for a collaborative space in The Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. The project integrates traditional concerns such as acoustics, indoor air quality, and program with other more ephemeral considerations such as atmosphere, ornamentation, and aesthetics. Wood veneer and wool felt were selected to maximize visual effect and acoustical performance while minimizing material impact.
Working with our team of acoustical engineering researchers and students from the Cockrell School of Engineering, it was determined that, to maximize the diffusion of sound, it is important to have a variety of convex and concave surfaces. The two main elements of the system are the concave tracks and the convex modules inserted into the tracks. Though both are fabricated from wood veneer, they leverage the material qualities of the veneer in very different ways.
Layers of textural richness are present in the natural variation of the wood grain and wool fibers, as well as a patterned perforation layer subtracted from the wood veneer modules. The perforations create a secondary level of acoustical performance, covering the surfaces in an abstracted wood grain pattern.