In auditorium acoustics objective science and engineering are employed to elicit subjective perceptions and emotions. This lecture discusses the auditorium acoustic design of concert halls, opera houses and theatres, by one of the leading concert hall designers in the UK. It starts with describing some fundamental requirements for audiences, performers and other stakeholders. Both scientific and other factors are considered. The lecture will then look at how the art and science have developed over the last 35 years. This will include the use of scale and computer modelling, the paradigm shift of auralisation and the integration of architecture and creative digital audio. The scientific and engineering responses to changing artistic and audience needs will be examined.
Rob Harris started out as a stage lighting designer and sound engineer in the West End of London, mixing major musicals such as Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar. After studying for an MSc in acoustics at ISVR, University of Southampton, Rob moved into the acoustics industry, working for Arup for 33 years, ending up as a Director of Acoustics, Theatre Design and Arts and Culture. Since then he has set up his own business Rob Harris Design Limited, and is a visiting professor at ISVR, University of Southampton.
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