Sculpting Sound To Create The Perfect Balance Of Acoustics, Music And Architecture
A Few Minutes With One Of INCE’s Newest Board Members, Courtney Schoedel
There are similarities between architecture and music: terms such as rhythm, texture, harmony, proportion and articulation are a few.
Seeking to find the right balance between music—or sound—and architecture is the passion of Courtney Schoedel, INCE Bd. Cert, LEED AP. It has allowed her to combine a love of music and singing with architectural acoustical engineering to enhance sound environments and help protect people from noise.
Schoedel is one of INCE’s three newly-elected Directors to serve a 3-year term on its Board, and recently became an INCE Board Certified member. She has worked at Idibri for 14 years as a consultant and currently leads the acoustical team at the Addison, TX-based firm. Idibri designs connections between people in the built environment with consultants skilled in acoustics, audio, video, lighting, data, security, rigging and theater design.
Schoedel earned both a Master of Architecture and Master of Building Sciences with a concentration in Architectural Acoustics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Design from the University of Florida.
Currently, working at home because of COVID-19 she and her husband are also temporarily homeschooling their two daughters, but she still finds time to train for 5K, 10K, and half-marathons. We caught up with her recently and she was kind enough to spare a few minutes to share her thoughts on acoustics, noise control and INCE.
Q. What was your “a-ha!” moment when you knew noise control/acoustics was the career for you?
I love the idea of being able to sculpt sound through architecture (making the building an instrument). I have always been involved in musical activities especially singing but I was also very technical-minded, loving both math and science. The summer before college, I decided to attend an architecture camp at the University of Florida. At this camp, we were asked to design a complex including a studio/performance space for an ‘artist’. I selected a musician. The professor at the camp walked by and told me that I could design buildings specifically for music in their architecture program. I was sold!
Q. What was the most exciting and/or inspiring project you have worked on?
I have worked on many different projects that have been both exciting and inspiring. The first project that comes to mind is SaRang Church in Seoul, Korea. This project included multiple stacked Children’s Worship Rooms (with live bands), a Chapel with a high amount of glazing, and a 6000-seat Worship Auditorium which was underground and sandwiched between the subterranean garage and a subway. Our scope on the project included room design, room acoustics, sound isolation, noise and vibration control in addition to the audio, video and lighting design. We have had great success looking at not only the nuts and bolts but creating great experiences for the end users.
Q. Why did you join the INCE board and what do you hope to accomplish?
My undergraduate and graduate education was focused on acoustics through the architectural field, so I opted to take the Noise Control Engineering Classes to complete the process of becoming Board Certified. After completing the courses this January (certified in March), I felt this was the right time to take my involvement to the next level. I would like to focus my efforts on communicating how the organization is current and relevant, as well as promote the Board Certification status and its importance denoting expertise in noise control engineering.
Q. Final question . . . What fascinates you about noise control?
I love how unique yet connecting sound or the absence of sound can be. It can unite people in great experiences, but it can also drive a wedge between others in bad experiences. In some ways, sound is ever changing, yet also confined by physics. Everyone hears and experiences things differently, and finding the right balance fascinates me.
INCE Member Spotlights are an occasional series highlighting an INCE member doing interesting work. Let us know who we should talk with next, email firstname.lastname@example.org.