Isn’t it funny the path that life sometimes takes us on. This week has been quite a reflective one for me. An unexpected turn of events in the planning for Beanstork Studio and I am suddenly re-living my high school and Uni days! (Which for me was quite some time ago!)

We have employed an Architect to draw up some plans, because despite our best efforts, things like plumbing, lighting and electrical drawings are best left to the professionals. In one of many emails flying back and forth, our architect suggested an acoustic product for the ceiling. To be completely honest – I went into a bit of a spin. This is something that hadn’t even crossed our radar before now.  All of a sudden we were faced with yet another decision! Our lovely architect floated the idea of engaging an acoustics engineer to help us identify and resolve any potential issues in our space.

My initial response was “oh dear! I really don’t think we have the budget for that!” and I set out to do some googling on ways to diffuse and absorb sound in certain environments. And then I smiled inwardly and had a little chuckle. Because I had this friend growing up. We go back a very long time. Our families used to holiday together, we went to the same primary school, high school and then ended up sharing a flat in Dunedin during our university days. I was there following my passion for Visual Arts, and he a career in Music – Acoustics Engineering to be specific.

At the time, I don’t think I ever really stopped to consider what this meant, or how it applied to life. Or probably my life to be specific! (because lets face it, I was probably a self absorbed 20 something year old at that time). I think I thought it was a very niche sort of career and not one that I would ever require the services of – never in a million years right?! But here I was, contacting a very old friend whom I probably hadn’t seen for the best part of 10 years.

Until this week I was to a certain extent blind (or should that be deaf) to this whole realm of the sensory experience. And now I can’t help but notice; in the swimming pool, our local gymnasium, the library and cafes and restaurants there are deliberate architectural devices, furnishings and features to help manipulate sound. They’ve always been there and maybe I had noticed on a visual level, because I am a very visual person, but perhaps I had not realised that in their form lies a very important function. Or maybe I had not stopped to really think about it. And that’s what I am really enjoying about this whole process. The learning and enlightening. And it has been a very steep ascent – let me tell you!

So thank you Brendon Shanks at Marshall Day Acoustics in New Zealand, for enlightening me! Brendon has been so generous with his knowledge and time to give us some much needed advice on how best to deal with the issue of noise in our space. So hopefully when we open, we will be able to hold a conversation without having to shout at each other!

And that is a beautiful thing.