Newsletter | Sep/Oct 2005

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Program 100: Overview of Acoustical Design

by Elaine Hsieh

Monday, 17 October 2005


Charles M. Salter and Associates studio
130 Sutter Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94104

Candice Huey, T: 415.397.0442

Program Description
Join Charles Salter and Elaine Hsieh in our Presentation Studio for a fun and dynamic overview of acoustics. Understand the general application and practice of acoustical engineering in architectural design and construction. Learn the fundamentals by discussing room acoustics, sound isolation, mechanical equipment noise and vibration control, cost/benefits, and legal issues. This program includes real-world examples, including acoustical details from the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the James H. Clark Center at Stanford University. Credit: 1 LU (HSW)

Biography of Presenters
Mr. Charles M. Salter, P.E., has over 30 years experience in a wide range of consulting in areas of architectural acoustics, noise control engineering, and environmental noise impact, and expert testimony. Mr. Salter is an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley and is a co-author and editor of "Acoustics: Architecture, Engineering, the Environment". He is involved in the Acoustical Society of America, American Institute of Architects, Center for the Built Environment, and San Francisco Planning Urban Research Association. He holds degrees in Finance from Boston College, Architecture from MIT and Structural Engineering from Tufts University.

Ms. Elaine Hsieh, Consultant at Charles M. Salter Associates has consulting experience in architectural acoustics, noise engineering, and environmental noise and mitigation. She has worked extensively on resort hotels, condominiums, and multi-family residences, hospitals, and mixed-use spaces. Ms. Hsieh has degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Management from Duke University and is a member of the American Institute of Architects; Institute of Noise Control Engineering, and the Organization of Women Architects.

Brief Firm Description
Charles M. Salter Associates, Inc., consultants in acoustics, audio/visual system design, and telecommunications, was founded in 1975. With a staff of 42, we are involved in more than 700 projects per year in eight major service areas: architectural acoustics, engineering acoustics, environmental acoustics, audio/visual system design, telecommunications data and security, sound system design, acoustic simulation, public presentation, and expert testimony.

Disney Concert Hall

OWA's August Book Exchange

by Hana Mori
For the August OWA Program, we decided to do something a little different from the usual format of a lecture, demonstration or tour. Instead, the event focused on OWA members themselves, and was an opportunity to exchange ideas and thoughts in the form of a Book Exchange. On the evening of August 9, the Spanish bookstore Casa del Libro in San Francisco's Mission district opened its doors again to us, allowing us to use their gallery room and patio area for our meeting.

As the event was lightly attended, we were able to have some great discussions about the books and our individual experiences with them. One could even say the book choices gave everyone else an insight into our personalities.

Including suggestions that were written in to us by people who could not make it to the event, here is a list of the books presented:

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Recommended by Deborah Coburn, who writes: "This story gives great insight into the way our culture is set up and why we are all asleep as we ride our beautiful Earth craft toward disaster. It changed my life!"

The Gardens of San Francisco by Joan Hockaday, photographs by Henry Bowles
Recommended by Merle Easton: "A beautifully illustrated guide to the many public and private gardens throughout San Francisco, with historical information about how many of them came about and have changed over time."

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia–Marquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa
Recommended by Inge Horton: "Much-loved and Nobel Prize-winning author Garcia-Marquez's epic novel about the events in the life of the Buendia family over six generations. William Kennedy of the New York Times Book Review says "One Hundred Years of Solitude is the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race..."

Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
Recommended by Hana Mori: "A lovely, easy-to-read book with skillful play-on-words, and truly beautiful imagery. One magical place in the story is the Ocean of the Streams of Story, described as being made up of thousands of different currents, each in a different color, each representing a story and which can melt and mix with each other, making the Ocean a sort of living library of stories."

Chronicles of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa
Recommended by Sarka Volejnikova: "A shorter, lighter novel by Garcia-Marquez, which Sarka described as being so beautifully written as to "suck you in completely and you won't be able to put it down."

Virginia Woolf a biography by Nigel Nicholson
Recommended by Orit Yanai: "This is a particularly interesting biography of the famous writer because of the unique perspective of this author Nigel Nicholson—he is the son of Virginia Woolf's female lover. Having spent many years in close observation of her, he provides insights that few other biographers could."

Tracks by Robyn Davidson
Recommended by Alex Vondeling, who writes: "This travel essay describes the author's trek with camels and her dog across the Australian outback from Alice Springs to the coast in the 1970's. The odyssey is amazing both from what she battled externally with nature and mankind and internally, with her own thoughts. You see how she is transformed over the period from a young impetuous upstart to someone with a greater understanding and sense of responsibility. It is an especially appealing book for independent women with a yen for adventure. I highly recommend it."

SPECIAL NOTE: La Casa del Libro is offering Spanish classes starting soon. If there are at least 4 or 5 people, a group just for OWA members can be formed. The class will be held at the gallery of La Casa del Libro (973 Valencia St at 21st St. in the Mission district), once per week, one hour and 15 minutes, preferably weekdays after 5 PM (exact time can be determined to work with people's schedules).

Class fee is $120/month, and students receive a 20% discount on books, dictionaries, etc. at the store.

A short bio of instructor Anja Fulle:
Masters Degree in Translation and Interpretation from the University of Granada/Spain (Spanish, German, English and Portuguese). Licensed as a translator, interpreter and teacher up to College Level. Lived for 7 years in Granada, studying and working. Work experience (13 years) as a freelance translator and teacher in Spain, Germany, USA and Mexico.

Those of you who are interested, please email Anja at with the following information: 1) Name and contact phone/email, 2) Preferred time of class, 3) Your level (approximately).

Hidden Treasures in Peru

by Mimi Malayan

This summer, I had the good fortune to join Teresa Sevilla, a native of Peru, with other friends, on a trip to her homeland. One's first thought of Peru is Macchu Picu and the impact of Incas. And while there's no question that the Inca left an indelible mark on a large part of South America, from the Andes to the coast, so much history and art predate this notable civilization.

About 350 north of Lima near the coast, is Trujillo, where we visited Moche tribe burial grounds, Las Huacas del Sol y de la Luna. These monuments of the sun and moon are mountain-like adobe structures climbing 165 feet tall. Estimated to be close to 2000 years old, artifacts of a similar age, including ceramics, textiles, and frescos, are being unearthed today from these desert pyramids. As there is practically no rainfall, these ancient sites have been relatively preserved, and only today are being exposed.

The construction of these giant structures was segmented: adobes stacked between columns were not joined with the adjacent section, improving its resistance to seismic activity. In an earthquake, independent sections might collapse, but the framework of the structure would remain. The adobes were all stamped by the manufacturing labor group, each with its own symbol. Within an area, one will find many different imprints, indicating particular labor assignments. "These marks are true signatures, like those of European printmakers..."

The stepped pyramid form featured multiple levels, with segments of varying heights and sizes, not necessarily symmetrical in layout. The different slant-sided platforms were connected by long sloping ramps and topped by small structuresÉwith angled rooflinesÉ. Typically open on three sides with a solid and /or decorated back wall, these buildings had a single and/or double-pitch roof, held up by wooden columns (another prestige item in the desert). To draw attention upward, rows of stylized war-clubs created roof-combs, or the gables overlapped." (Art of the Andes, Rebecca Stone-Miller, pp. 91-92).

This was just one of many sites we visited. We continued our bus ride to El Brujo, which is currently being excavated, and then on to Chan Chan and Lambayeque. Each of these represented another culture and period in pre-Columbian history. And there is so much we didn't see—and so much that hasn't yet been exposed. The ancient native peoples had rich cultures, which have been hidden for thousands of years, and are only now being discovered.

Some web-sites on this topic are:

Adobe Fresco

Fresco Warriors

A spectacular panorama (click here to enlarge)

Upcoming Events

Annual Retreat: Feng Shui

There is still space available at the retreat at Westerbeke Ranch in Sonoma. The main presentation this year is Space, Place and Grace: the Art and Science of Feng Shui presented by Diane Bush, RN, MPH.

The art project will involve making a mobile and the musical program is belly dancing to Arabian music! Come relax and meet other women while partaking of yoga, the hot tub and swimming pool, walking, stargazing and wonderful food and drink together.

Contact Heather Sprague to register:

OWA Annual Business Meeting

Come discuss next year's calendar, web-site improvements, and the organization's financial status. This is a good opportunity to get involved and meet other OWA members.


A flyer with information and registration details has been included in the newsletter mailing this month. The summary is:

Wednesday, 5 October 2005

6:00pm No–host cocktails
7:00pm Dinner

Palio d'Asti
640 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94104

$65 per person
checks payable to Queen's Bench
816 4th Ave.
San Mateo, CA 94401-3317

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom

by 28 September 2005
include your name(s) and number of tickets, Company Name and address, phone number and your profession, and indicate your choice of seafood risotto, rigatoni with veal meatballs, or basil eggplant ravioli.

Contact Katherine Burke or Shawna Swanson

The professional women's networking group LEAADD (Women Lawyers, Engineers, Architects, Accountants, Doctors and Dentists) is an alliance of Bay Area professional women's groups including lawyers, engineers, architects, accountants, doctors and dentists. In the early 1950's, members of the Women's Physicians of San Francisco invited women lawyers from Queen's Bench to a luncheon to discuss issues common to both professions. The gathering became an annual tradition and has expanded to include women from all professional fields, including the women from OWA. Queen's Bench organizes and administers the event, with assistance from representatives from other professional women's groups. Throughout the years the L.E.A.A.D.D. annual meetings have featured outstanding speakers who have addressed topics of current interest to women. There have been many notable speakers, including former Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, Rose Bird; author, Jessica Mitford; former State Treasurer, Kathleen Brown; former National Organization for Women President, Ginny Foat; and Chez Panisse owner and chef, Alice Waters.

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