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Ben Piper

Senior Associate

California Polytechnic State University, B.S. Aerospace Engineering

  • Allied Member of AIA San Francisco
  • American Association of Airports, Executive Member

Psychoacoustics and Collaboration

What first drew me to Salter was the breadth of experience and family-run atmosphere. I’m a huge Star Wars fan, so working for the firm that consulted on Skywalker Ranch is inspiring. With a background in singing and theater, I was intrigued to learn about the many applications of acoustics in the built environment. I also love variety; in any given month, I get to work on 20+ different projects, each with their unique challenges.

Acoustics is a mixture of objective scientific principles and subjective preferences. Two clients might have different ideas of what sounds good in the same space, so I’m fascinated by psychoacoustics and enjoy the process of determining and achieving project noise goals for each individual.

The Improviser

I have enjoyed performing improv comedy since 2001. One of the basic principles is called “yes, and.” In an improvised scene, you accept your partner’s offer and build on it. This strategy is also effective when working as part of a design team: listening to and accepting the client’s ideas and using them as a platform to build on is a great tool for collaboration. This skill is also handy when creating our award-winning Salter holiday videos. I have written our holiday video scripts for the past 5 years, directing and starring in some of them. I am proud and honored by the feedback we get from clients who enjoy them. Besides performing improv, I also enjoy drawing, karaoke, pickup basketball, and spending time with family.