Ian Hoffman is an architect, acoustic designer and educator, whose teaching, research and practice examine the complex sensitivities of architectural and acoustic design, specifically for the performing arts, bridging the technical and creative, calculated and perceived, aural and tectonic.
As an ACOUSTIC DESIGNER, I am committed to examining and understanding the curious interactions of sound and space, specifically as they affect the human experience. This pursuit includes formal experimentation and modeling, material explorations, technical analysis, and most importantly, a disciplined habit of critical listening. I retain a deep passion for music and the human voice, made alive within constructed environments.
As an ARCHITECT, my work is focused primarily in the performing arts. In both architectural practice and design consulting practice, I have been fortunate to participate in and to lead the design, redesign and restoration of many significant buildings for music, spoken-word theater and performing arts education, spanning five continents. Some of those projects are highlighted in this site.
As an EDUCATOR, my interests and emphases extend beyond the aural domain, to the dialogue between tectonics and form, site specific building, craft+making, and phenomenology in human spatial understanding. I encourage exploration in design and representation, and I am committed to both manual and digital media and techniques, in their various 2D and 3D forms.
Currently, I serve as a professor on the faculty of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, teaching in the graduate program in Acoustics, within the department of Recording Arts and Sciences. My teaching spans many subjects in the aural domain, including architectural acoustics design and analysis, measurement, modeling, noise control and psychoacoustics. However, my primary area of focus centers around the study and design of spaces for music and spoken-word performance.
Previously, I served as an Associate Professor of Architecture in the School of Art, Design & Architecture at Judson University, near Chicago. In that role, I led undergraduate and graduate level design studios as well as taught courses in Structure+Tectonics, Environmental Technologies, Construction Materials+Methods, Advanced Acoustics + Performing Arts Design. I also coordinated, planned and led a four-week field sketching and watercolor course in Europe, on three occasions. From 2010-2014, I served as the Assistant Chair for Undergraduate Programs, and from 2014-2016, I was honored to serve as Chair the Department of Architecture.
In my various roles, as designer, as educator, as listener and as traveler, I maintain that, as architects, we do not create space. We bound it, and we break boundaries. We define it, and we expand it. We fashion and re-fashion humanity’s perception and response to space -- Architecture edits space.