Senior Consultant, Peutz, The Netherlands
How did you get introduced working in the world of sound?
My career path is a bit odd. After riding dressage horses professionally for a couple of years, I studied building engineering in Amsterdam during which I got interested in building physics: what is the effect of the built environment on how people feel and what can we do in the design to optimize that. During my first years in building physics consultancy I found out that playing the saxophone and acoustics has something in common and with a job switch to Peutz, my career in room acoustics really got going.
What research/project are you most proud of?
I am very happy with a lot of projects I have done and do, especially concert halls and musical rehearsal rooms, but the Kulturpalast in Dresden stands out. It was an acoustically very challenging project, the first non-rectangular symphonic concert hall for which Peutz was the acoustical consultant. Apart from that it is always difficult to work in a foreign country with another language and culture. Germany seems so close to the Netherlands, but the differences are large enough to let you realise what it feels like to be the outsider. I think it would be a very worthwhile experience for everyone to work in a foreign country for a while, on your own. For me at least it was a very worthful experience, that changed my view of the world, of people.
What research/project are you currently working on?
I am working on different projects, and rigth now it's concerned around Komische Oper Berlin, Kammermusiksaal in Vitznau, Theater aan de Parade in Den Bosch and being President of the NAG, amongst others.
How would you convince women to work in the world of sound?'
Sound in general and room acoustics specifically is a very nice combination of ‘hardcore’ technical challenges, difficult modelling and measurement techniques on the one hand with a human touch on the other. In the end it is about people, how they feel, how they can enjoy music, either by playing themselves or by listening to it. And it evolves about quality: working in a team with the common goal of realising qualitative high performance buildings is usually a lot of fun, with a lot of different aspects and people throughout the process, from the first architectural sketch to the building process to the first concert. So if you are looking for a technical challenge but with a goal related to human beings, with loads of variation, this is really a nice job.