By Joshua Ostrer
This past Monday, Union held Phasor Day, a day of commemoration and celebration for the new Phasor Lab located in the Peter Irving Wold Center.
Phasor Day lasted from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The afternoon began with a recital by guest artist Bradford Gowen in the music department’s “Taylor Time” series of performances in Emerson Hall, followed by a colloquium on architectural acoustics and the design of the Phasor Lab by John Storyk, a founding partner of the Walters Storyk Design Group.
The Phasor lab was designed by the Walters Storyk Design group, a group of world-renowned architects and acousticians.
“It was clear from the get go that we needed experts to design the Lab,” said Kenneth B. Sharpe Professor of Economics J. Douglass Klein.
The Walters Storyk Design group has a history of designing studios for academic institutions, having already designed studios for New York University, University of Michigan, Illinois Institute for Art Chicago and Art Institute of San Francisco.
The group’s portfolio even boasts having designed studios for Aerosmith, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Alec Baldwin and many more.
The design and construction of the lab was done alongside construction of the Wold Center itself. However, exactly what the lab would contain was not immediately decided, leading to some debate over various factors.
“There was debate of what could be done with the budget we had… The choice of materials, the construction methods and even the dimensions of the room were all things that Walter Storyk helped us sort out,” said Klein.
The process was not a simple one. “A lot of little details needed to be taken care of, a lot of care needed to be taken in getting temperature and humidity levels correct. We’re actually still tweaking some of the systems to make sure everything is working perfectly,” Klein explained.
The construction of the lab was done with the electrical engineering, computer engineering and music departments in mind. While certain sacrifices had to be made, like the absence of an anechoic room (an echo-free space designed to stop sound and electromagnetic waves) due to spacial constraints, the lab has proven more than adequate.
“It’s a very high end signal processing lab for engineers and a world class recording studio for musicians,” said Klein.
While the lab has already been in use by over 70 students, Phasor Day still has a purpose. In order to increase awareness on campus, “this event is kind of to show what’s already being done here,” said Klein.