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Acoustic panels are emerging as the flavor of the month for office interiors: at the booth of Slalom at Orgatec in Cologne. Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark
A touch of quiet never harms
10/24/2014

Art in the office? Paintings on the wall? Forget it. What you need are acoustic panels as noise-killers. They were omnipresent at the Orgatec in Cologne. Hardly a manufacturer dared not present the one or other noise-absorbent furniture item. They come in square, rectangular and round versions, as tiles on the wall and as room dividers; sometimes they float over everything, others they function as dividers on your desktop to demarcate your own private area; and all of them boast noise-dampening textile coverings. And needless to say, they come in any conceivable color, of course.

At DeVorm these sound absorbers hang like dark acoustic clouds over the desk and go by the beautiful name of “Onde”. Acousticpearls offers the straight-edged “Colour Fields”, textile wall panels in five different sizes and no less than 107 different colors. At BuzziSpace entire acoustic cabins are available for quiet work, as are planks that are possibly meant to block your path to your superior, but which can also easily be used to lay out a slalom course on the ladder upwards. And at Blå Station gingko leaves made of polyester felt are stuck to the wall to keep our working lives quieter.

Not so long ago the office space was opened out and made into a communicative world, and now the idea is obviously to block it all out again from around the desk. Office workers are being fenced in by panels to prevent them from having to hear everything else happening outside his or her work space. Instead you can gaze at colorful or nicely printed walls on which you can at long last pin a few pictures or notes again. Albeit not on the version offered by Sweden’s Götessons company, as it not only spares your ears but also cleans the air.

In short, acoustic panels are emerging as the flavor of the month for office interiors. They are meant to help offset the one or other disadvantage of open-plan offices. At any rate, they certainly provide a few sweet splashes of color in what is still often a horribly monotonous working environment.

Perhaps we’ll soon be seeing people back working in little cells? In cubicles that open upwards but are otherwise acoustically secluded? Surely that’s where we were all sitting only a moment ago. At least that’s what it feels like. We’ve taken the opportunity to compile an overview of all the sorts of acoustic panels that are now available. (as)

MORE on Stylepark:

Work with love: One thing is clear at this year’s Orgatec in Cologne: the lines dividing homes from offices are becoming very blurred.
(24 October 2014)

Clouds are coming into the office: “Onde” at DeVorm. Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark
Back to the “cubicles“:“Limbus Concept“ by Glimakra of Sweden.
Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark
Très francais: acoustic panels in pastels. Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark
Gingko leaves dumb the noise at Blå Station. Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark
Office workers are being fenced in by panels, for example at Tecno.
Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark
In full color at Steel & Wood. Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark
Forget art – now noise-dampening tiles stick to the wall. Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark
BuzziSpace created acoustic planks for a slalom course.
Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark
If the eyes get tired when you stare at this wild pattern?
Photo © Adeline Seidel, Stylepark

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