Space and Sound
CHANGING SPACE AND SOUND:
PARAMETRIC DESIGN AND VARIABLE ACOUSTICS
Christopher W. Norton
A Thesis Presented to the FACULTY OF THE USC SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree
MASTER OF BUILDING SCIENCE
This thesis by Christopher W. Norton examines the potential for parametric design software to create performance based design using acoustic metrics as the design criteria. A former soundstage at the University of Southern California used by the Thornton School of Music is used as a case study for a multiuse space for orchestral, percussion, master class and recital use.
The criteria used for each programmatic use include reverberation time, bass ratio, and the early energy ratios of the clarity index and objective support. Using a panelized ceiling as a design element to vary the parameters of volume, panel orientation and type of absorptive material, the relationships between these parameters and the design criteria are explored.
These relationships and subsequently derived equations are applied to Grasshopper parametric modeling software for Rhino 3D (a NURBS modeling software). Using the target reverberation time and bass ratio for each programmatic use as input for the parametric model, the genomic optimization function of Grasshopper – Galapagos – is run to identify the optimum ceiling geometry and material distribution.