Justin delivers refined solutions by leveraging his strong foothold of experience consulting for performing & recording arts spaces and applying lessons learned to other building types. Justin values a scientific approach when it comes to balancing acoustics with other project needs. Equipped with a background in computational physics and acoustical material science, he especially loves working with calculations and models to inform critical design decisions. Some of Justin’s favorite past projects are Oklahoma State University’s Michael & Anne Greenwood School of Music, Valley City State University’s Center for the Arts, Cincinnati Ballet’s Margaret & Michael Valentine Center for Dance, and Minnesota Opera’s Luminary Arts Center. For each of those projects, Justin was most excited about seeing students move into their new homes as they prepare to shape the next generation of artists.

Do you or have you played a musical instrument? If so, which and why?

I play the electric guitar because I love blues music and enjoy jamming with friends. I’m also drawn to the parallels between luthiery and room acoustics design. The instrument is a musician’s interface and voice; in this way, the room is an extension of the instrument. A great guitar, just like a great performance space, is the result of many small but deliberate choices that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

What excites you about the architecture and engineering industry?
It’s been humbling to witness architectural design – both process and product – evolve over the course of a global pandemic. I’m curious to see how it will continue to respond to advancements in building design tools and construction techniques and materials. I’m especially excited about the application of parametric design, 3D-printing, and material science to break the mold of what we think is possible with architectural acoustics.

What is your favorite meal to cook at home?
Recently I’ve been making carnitas fried rice to combine a dish I love from taco trucks in Houston with a dish I grew up eating in Hong Kong.

Justin Yau - Specialist


  • BS in Computational Physics, 2019, Rice University