Renowned Acoustics Expert Raj Patel Recognized as Arup Fellow
The honor celebrates both creative and technical distinction, as well as an extraordinary ability to innovate
Arup, the global design and consulting firm for the built environment, is pleased to announce that Raj Patel, Principal; Americas Region Board Member; Global Leader of Acoustics, Audio-Visual, and Theatre Consulting has been named an Arup Fellow. A life-long, honorary title awarded to exceptional individuals in the firm, Arup Fellows are considered role models with world-class vision and initiative. Raj Patel discusses design in this Doggerel article.
“Arup Fellows inspire and encourage innovative thinking at Arup and with our clients,” said Andy Howard, Chairman of the Americas Region. “Going beyond this, Raj is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of how sound and visual design can fundamentally impact decisions and experiences in the built environment.”
Patel said, “It’s a privilege, an honor, and quite humbling to be recognized by peers and the firm as a whole for technical excellence and for pushing the envelope, locally, regionally, and globally. Being a Fellow also entails making a commitment to continue that exploration, and to share the resulting knowledge, experience, and skills which leave the firm—and the world—a better place.”
Patel joined Arup in 1993, after graduating from the University of Southampton. To advance the use of sound in the design process, he has pioneered sophisticated techniques and tools—including the Arup SoundLab—to create accurate aural and visual renderings of 3D sound and space, enabling designers to see and hear constructions and multimedia installations before they are built.
“By challenging expectations and designing great projects, we’ve been able to change the dialogue about how acoustics is used in the design process,” he said. “Combining acoustics, audio-visual, and theater design to create a holistic human-centric experience, we’re able to deliver exceptional outcomes.”
Patel has contributed to an extraordinary range of projects, including performing arts venues, museums, entertainment and sports facilities, education, and transportation projects, as well as the virtual and augmented worlds. From collaborations with the late musician Lou Reed to the Unicorn Theater in London to the London Underground Jubilee Line Extension and the new Second Avenue Subway in New York City, he finds unlimited opportunities to advance the art and science of acoustics. “Every single project has been a voyage of discovery,” said Patel. “Something new, something interesting, something exciting.”
Looking forward—an ability in which Arup Fellows excel—Patel sees tremendous opportunities. “I think sound will be used in a much more proactive way to help improve environments. For example, in rapidly densifying cities, active soundscaping is going to become increasingly more important to achieve optimal performance and comfort.”
“Good soundscaping can help the way we think, the way we learn, the way we work. In the future, we’ll see more projects shaped around sound or around noise; almost everything in the world has become an immersive, multi-media experience and there’s an expectation for seamless integration between the media, the acoustics, and the experience in any space. I believe we’ll see that having increasing importance in every aspect of built-environment design.”
Arup provides planning, engineering, design, and consulting services for the most prominent projects and sites in the built environment. Since its founding in 1946, the firm has consistently delivered technical excellence, innovation, and value to its clients, while maintaining its core mission of shaping a better world. Arup opened its first US office more than 30 years ago and now employs 1,400 people in the Americas. The firm’s employee-ownership structure promotes ongoing investment in joint research to yield better outcomes that benefit its clients and partners. Visit Arup’s website, www.arup.com, and the online magazine of Arup in the Americas, doggerel.arup.com, for more information.