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THE ART INSTITUTES VITALIZE PROFESSIONAL RECORDING PROGRAMS

The Art Institute of Washington, Control Room (photo by Walter Smalling)WSDG Designs Wash. DC & Nashville Teaching Studios – Austin, San Diego Next

ARLINGTON, VA: The Art Institutes is a system of over 40 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals. As part of an on-going effort to provide students with exceptional technical support, The Art Institutes is expanding and upgrading the facilities of their professional Audio Production Program.

To insure this quality, both The Art Institute of Washington and The Art Institute of Nashville – Tennessee retained the architectural and acoustical services of the Walters-Storyk Design Group With over 2000 professional recording studio designs to its credit, WSDG was an astute choice for these assignments. The firm’s curriculum vitae includes teaching facilities for the Universities of Colorado, Michigan and Boston, NYU, the Ex’ Pression Center For New Media (SF), Full Sail (FL) and Five Towns College (NY).

Jack Chester, Director of Facilities for The Art Institute of Washington, contacted WSDG to redesign the college’s existing facility and establish a modern learning complex. Chester reports that a totally professional learning environment is a priority for preparing students to compete in today’s job market. “WSDG was highly recommended. Our meetings with John Storyk made it clear that they were the optimum designers for our purpose,? he says.

“I’ve supervised many Federal Government construction projects throughout my 34 year
career. This has been one of the best experiences I’ve encountered. The level of detail in the WSDG drawings was extremely comprehensive. Only three minor change orders were required throughout the entire process,? Chester adds.

WSDG senior project manager Romina Larregina describes the 1200 sq. ft. Art Institute of. Washington complex as a 500 sq. ft. live studio, a 350 sq. ft. Control Room, 135 sq. ft. multi-purpose Sound Lock; 100 sq. ft. ISO Booth, and 140 sq. ft. machine/storage room. “These are small classes designed to provide students with extensive hands-on experience,? Larregina says. “It’s one of the best possible ways to teach audio production and post-production. Dr. Chester was extremely knowledgeable and adept at articulating The Art Institute’s needs. We all benefited from a great deal of positive collaboration.?

Soon after commencing work on the Washington complex, WSDG was commissioned by Dr. David Hinton, Dean of Academic Affairs for The Art Institute of Nashville – Tennessee to redesign the audio facility for that campus. The Nashville project will be followed by audio production facilities for The Art Institutes schools in Austin, TX and San Diego, CA.
Carol L.A. Menck, President of The Art Institute of Tennessee – Nashville reports that the new studio was an immediate success. “The room went on-line this summer, and the program hosts multiple classes with both local and out of state students. Robb Wenner, Lead Instructor for our Audio Production Program encourages students to work on their own projects in the facility, so it is in constant use. We are extremely pleased with the John Storyk design. It provides a totally professional environment and gives students the sight lines and physical access necessary to acquire a true understanding of how the studio works.?

“Each of these installations was awarded independently,? Storyk says. “While the technology is similar (three of the four feature SSL Duality consoles, Washington is outfitted with an AWS), each studio was approached as a unique design project. We worked with the individual Recording Arts Program Directors and customized our plans and design team to meet their specific needs. For example, our Systems Designer Judy Elliot-Brown supervised the full technology proposal and on-site installation for Washington. The in-house staff of the Nashville, San Diego and Austin schools coordinated their own equipment packaging and installs.?

Elliott-Brown reports that in addition to different consoles The Art Institute of Washington selected Genelec 1038 Main Speakers while Nashville chose ADAM S4VA MK2 Mains. Both schools opted for Dynaudio AIR 15 Surround speakers. “The San Diego and Austin schools will stick with the Nashville equipment package,? she says, “but each school has the option of selecting its own gear. We hope to collaborate with a number of The Art Institutes facilities in the future. Each will receive the design and technology best suited to its specific teaching and student requirements.?

John Storyk’s enthusiasm for designing learning facilities stems from his strong commitment to teaching. He lectures on acoustics and studio architecture at NYU, Columbia, Yale, the Berklee College of Music and many other leading schools. In addition to the personal gratification he derives from teaching, Storyk has found a number of talented interns who have made major contributions to the firm. In fact, two former student/interns, Dirk Noy and Renato Cipriano are the respective heads of the WSDG European and Brazilian offices.

Photo 1 The Art Institute of Washington Control Roomai-nashville-live-2.JPG
Photo 2 The Art Institute of Nashville – Tennessee, Live Room

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The Walters-Storyk Design Group www.wsdg.com has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, Interlochen Public Radio, CBS and WNET, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include private studios for Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, Tracy Chapman, film composer Carter Burwell, Goo Goo Dolls, Aerosmith, Green Day, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. The firm maintains offices in NY, SF Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Mexico City and Switzerland.

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