In the early 70’s, British rock band Slade sang about “feeling the noise”. Since then, a lot has changed in our perception of sound and – for these brands – the intentional lack of it. This feature is about five innovative brands that are seeking great acoustics with their designs.
Acoustic Images by AKUART
AKUART unites acoustics and aesthetics in their sound-absorbing Acoustic Images with customisable print finishes. With a combination of sustainable materials, finesse and sublime printing techniques, these designs create a great balance between style and sound.
The acoustic images are available in four versions with different levels of sound reduction: the Home 30 and 50 models and the SmartArt 36 and 60. The latter have interchangeable canvases, allowing you to change the artwork displayed.
These acoustic images are modern products developed with a deep understanding of quality based on scientific data. With over fifteen years of experience, designers Casper Sparsø and Bjørn Berthelsen never compromise.
“We design acoustic solutions that create a ‘room with space’. Room for life, for sounds, challenges, ups and downs – for everyday life. We are aesthetes and perfectionists and we take pride in challenging the standard in acoustic design.”
– Casper Sparsø & Bjørn Berthelsen, Akuart Partners
BeoSound Shape by Bang & Olufsen
BeoSound Shape is a new way to integrate great sound into your life. This wireless sound system doesn’t dominate a room but fits perfectly in. The many combinations of colours and sizes give you almost endless possibilities to create a completely unique sound system.
The concept behind BeoSound Shape stems from a basic challenge. Designer Øivind Slaatto was sitting in his design office, which has big solid flat walls. The walls increased the background noise, which significantly affected his working environment in a negative way. His solution was to create a modular system. The large surfaces were broken up and connected at different angles. They were made from panels of sound-absorbing materials to improve the acoustics.
The design process drew inspiration from a skiing trip to Norway. The landscape was covered in snow with unlimited nuances in white. That was the effect Øivind Slaatto was looking for with BeoSound Shape. The “little mountain” on top of the panels reacts to the ambient light.
“The design started out with organic minimalistic forms turning into a basic mathematical shape – a hexagon. Hexagons are often seen in nature, e.g. in beehives, snowflakes and ice crystals. They are a natural form created by nature – not by me. They can be assembled to grow in all directions, so only your own imagination sets the limits. This is a vote of confidence in the user and their creativity. I’m really looking forward to seeing the shapes and colours produced in homes and rooms around the world.”
– Øivind Slaatto, BeoSound Shape designer.
Fabricks by Four Design
DK-based Four Design has developed a modular acoustic wall, Fabricks, in collaboration with English designer, Nigel Sikora. Fabricks offers a unique and innovative way of creating instant acoustically enhanced walls anywhere you want. The ability to reconfigure and add individual colours means it a creative and seamless process to make the walls match the furniture.
The walls can create both a visual and acoustic diversion in open plan offices and you can easily add or change the configurations of your walls in no time, making them quick and useful for an adaptable working environment.
“Fabricks is a response to flexible open plan working, which often needs to be changed frequently. The short leases that companies are now signing means that investing in walls you can take with you is paramount. There are often bad acoustics in offices, so excellent acoustic qualities are of prime importance.”
– Nigel Sikora, Fabricks designer.
Tone Cabinets by Norm Architects
Norm Architects developed this soft contract piece of furniture for the Swedish acoustic design company ZilenZio. The aim was to create a sound-absorbing storage device. This cabinet has integrated stone wool into its panels in addition to a fully upholstered chassis to achieve better acoustics in a noisy working environment.
As the name implies, “Tone” is a wordplay on the tones in sound and in colours. Norm Architects designed the Tone Cabinets as a modular system, and they can be connected together.
“In Scandinavia, we are quite skilled in creating home-like office landscapes and the Tone Cabinets produce a homely feel. Nowadays, a lot of steel and glass are used in architecture, which creates bad acoustics. Therefore, we wanted to make your everyday working station more comfortable and create something with great contrast at the same time. The sharp-cut cubistic cabinet versus the ‘soft’ exterior padding results in an interesting interplay in the idiom.”
– Frederik Werner, Tone Cabinet designer.
Bloc Sound Absorber by Lintex
This sound absorber has softly rounded corners and a 48-mm-thick sound-absorbing filling. Bloc is designed to be placed by itself, in larger groups or together with other members of the Bloc series, which also include newsstands and glass writing boards.
With Bloc, DK -and SE-based Lintex’s aim was to change people’s perception of what notice boards can do. They partnered with Swedish designers Matti Klenell and Christian Halleröd to develop Bloc – a series of softly rounded wall panels that combines different materials and functions.
“We wanted to collect together a number of different functions in one simple form. This, together with the distinctive materials, makes Bloc dynamic, both on its own and in larger groups.”
– Christian Halleröd & Matti Klenell, Bloc designers.