Their name might sound like the call letters for another radio station, but in fact WSDG—the Walters-Storyk Design Group—is a full-service acoustics and audio/video design firm with six offices on four continents and 40 years of experience. They’re also one of our key partners in building KEXP’s New Home.
“We knew we were going to need a well-respected acoustic design firm to help us get the sound of the studios and recording spaces correct,” says KEXP Chief Engineer Jamie Alls. “WSDG really impressed us with their portfolio, their willingness to be creative to maximize our dollars, and their enthusiasm for the project.”
The WSDG team had its own reasons for wanting to be involved. “As a grunge-head from way back, I have a soft spot in my heart for KEXP,” says Joshua Morris, WSDG Project Manager and Designer. “Quality output, great people … why wouldn’t we want to work with KEXP?”
For Morris, the “a-ha” moment in the creative process occurred after he toured the site of KEXP’s New Home on Seattle Center and got a sense of how the building frames its courtyard, how traffic will flow inside the space, and where bands would park and load-in. “The building layout needs to cater to musicians and engineers while still embracing the fans. That really informed the way I thought about this project and helped the design team push that concept forward into the plan.”
KEXP’s New Home will allow more music lovers to experience our in-studios in person. WSDG was tasked with creating a performance space that would best serve audiences, artists and KEXP curators. “The biggest issue is allowing the performers to be viewed without feeling ogled. We tinted the windows and provided curtains that could be drawn … to downplay the ‘fishbowl effect.’”
Morris has a few different ideas about who he’d like to see play the first in-studio in KEXP’s New Home: Jason Isbell, Sam Amidon, Dan Mangan, Andrew Bird. “But if I’m being totally honest? Pearl Jam. Of course I would be in attendance … right?”