Grove

Biophilic Acoustic Panels with Integrated Lighting

Furniture Studio –
In Collaboration with Hightower Furniture

Biophilic Furniture Design

2019

Designed with Caroline Slick

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Furniture
Inspired by Nature

Grove is an acoustic panel system that provides privacy and absorbs distracting noises in the office to increase productivity for individuals.

Made with durable and antimicrobial FilzFelt, the panels dampen sound and provide a soothing texture for an open office environment. 

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Customize
and Configure

The panels can be customized to fit office needs and can be moved throughout a space to provide privacy or noise diffusion in specific areas.

The Grove

Grove brings the sense of forest bathing and "komorebi" into the office. The spacing between the panels and the integrated light from within the felt mimics the light passing through trees, bringing calmness and a sense of peace to the office.

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Ganging for Stability

Modular

Electrical Connections

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L–shaped Base

Easy Storage

Portability

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5MM ACOUSTIC FILZFELT

LED LIGHT STRIPS

BENT ALUMINUM FRAME

BENT BIRCH PLYWOOD

Research and Design Process

Modern Office Spaces – The Major Disconnect

While open floor plans stimulate collaboration, they provide many flaws. This office structure has become common place in many modern companies, yet this layout design is detrimentally affecting the work produced by workers.

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90%

Increase of stress, conflict, high blood pressure and more job turnover.

57%

Experience negative effect on attention and creativity.

70%

Reduced face-to-face interactions in the office.

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The benefits of being close to co-workers in open plan offices were offset by factors such as increased noise and less privacy.

Jungsoo Kim

University of Sydney Study

Current Office Space Research Findings

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Lack of Privacy

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Low Acoustic Ratings

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Need for Spacial Division

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Health and Wellness in the Workplace

Worker health is related to environmental aspects.

The average American spends 93% of his or her time indoors (EPA). How does this impact the health and wellness of individuals across time? What aspects does the outdoors bring that current indoor work environments are lacking?

Defining Biophilia

“Humanity’s innate need to connect with nature and the natural environment” (Kenneth Freeman)

Studies show that more than 80% of individuals wellbeing was improved due to their offices incorporating natural and biophilic elements.

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Forest Bathing

Komorebi: A Japanese term with no simple English translation
 

Our basic understanding: the feeling humans experience when sunlight shine through trees and creates soft, dappled shade through forests.  

Biophilic Findings

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Natural Materials

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Organic
Forms

How might we address the problem points of current office spaces while enhancing workers wellness through biophilic elements?

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Light

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Competitive Audit

In existing room dividers for open office spaces, we found an opportunity for a divider with some opacity and light integration. 

We wanted to take this finding and apply it to our biophilic findings.

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ACOUSTIC PANELS

ROOM DIVIDERS

INTEGRATED LIGHTING

ORGANIC FORMS

CUSTOMIZABILITY

Material Inspirations

Natural materials and a pop of color to cohere with Hightower's existing line of products.

Friendly and approachable textures and colors.

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Acoustic Materials

When looking at materials for creating acoustic panels, we wanted to use natural materials and fabrics to enhance the biophilic design. 

Material Exploration

To fully integrate natural elements into our design, we explored natural materials in furniture. As an experiment, we attempted to grow our own mycelium, a natural material new to furniture design.

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Felt for Acoustics

We found FilzFelt, an anti-microbial felt with low acoustic ratings to use for our design. 

Matching the Product Line

Hightower's products are approachable and friendly, with warm colors and materials and a pop of color. We wanted our design to follow this look and feel. 

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Color and Material in Nature

We found inspiration in wood and vibrant colors in nature. The combination of the wood and the vibrant orange provided warmth and rejuvenation from the contrasting colors and textures. 

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Different iterations of felt spacial dividers and acoustic panels inspired by movement and shapes in nature.

Refined Concepts

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Final Direction

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Prototyping

Experimenting with different methods of woodworking to achieve the form and structure of our final concept.

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Grove

Acoustic panels with integrated lighting, inspired by nature