Here are solutions for reducing the auditory distractions of noisy open-plan offices.
1 Tailor Made
The collective talent behind Austrian studio 13&9 includes architects and interior and fashion designers, all of whose skills are evident with BuzziPleat. Applying traditional sartorial techniques like smocking and pleating to the brand’s proprietary sound-absorbing felt, the firm has turned out sculptural forms with genuine artistic merit. The Victorian-ruffle-collar-like pieces, crafted in two sizes (1 metre and 1.5 metres in diameter), can hang on the wall or be suspended from the ceiling with an optional light fixture attached in the centre.
2 A Screen of Screens
While acoustic control is a common requirement for open-concept work environments, expanses of blank wall for installing sound absorbers are not always available. That’s where David Rockwell’s Telly screen for Knoll comes in. The fabric-covered segments, which look a lot like vintage television screens, are linkable in straight or curved runs in two-, three- or four-panel heights. The freestanding units serve as both visual barrier and noise buffer.
3 Build it Yourself
A single interlocking module is the basis for Scale, this 3-D treatment by Vanessa Busemann and Felix Zebi for Cabs Design, and manufactured by FilzFelt. Slot construction lets the triangular pieces fit easily together, and be mounted to the wall via stems and magnets. It’s eco-friendly, too, made from a recyclable fibre composite and wool.
4 Piecing it Together
Carnegie’s Xorel ArtForm is one of most straightforward sound-absorbing panel systems on the market, which makes it an appealing option for subdued yet artful insertions. Attached using either quick-grab adhesive or Velcro fasteners, the lightweight panels can be arranged on walls or ceilings. There are seven shapes available in 19 sizes and in hundreds of colours.