Acoustics is one of the best professional tools and means for the architect to better and reasoned form-giving, human centric design, to gain better quality in structure and material, and give a human and sensual touch to spaces from a room and home to public buildings and the city.
Acoustics is also a key tool for architectural innovation. One new building is usually not innovative*, it is a transformation of a previous one. Because acoustics is deep in form, structure, material, scale, composition and human perception, it gives a new dimension for architectural innovation. Just to mention, combinations of a room, its usage, form, structure and material are easy to approach through acoustics, and then widen the concepts created to architectonic innovations. Acoustics gives a systemic and holistic view to architecture.
The architect is in the core of architecture when designing the acoustics by herself, not only consulting an engineer. Good acoustics depends always on architectural form-giving, its relation to structures in depth, to material as artistic and functional factor, and to human requirements for space and its functions. If an architect does not consider acoustical dimensions in form-giving, the result is superficial like brick wallpaper and architectural details in polystyrene foam. But, when applying acoustic design the architect gets a whole portfolio of sustainable structures, energy efficient solutions and means for ecological construction. Acoustics is also a reason, justification and inspiration for architectonic form-giving.
* There certainly are innovations in architecture, like Buckminster Fuller‘s Dymaxion. Also Andrea Palladio‘s “Palladian villas of the Veneto” can be seen as innovations. Functionalism could be considered as a slow-motion-innovation, because it needed some gourageous persons to start with it, and years to be deployed. A patent is not yet an innovation, but on the way to become one. Frank Gehry has several patents on his inventions.