Biophilic Acoustic Panels with Integrated Lighting
Furniture Studio –
In Collaboration with Hightower Furniture
Biophilic Furniture Design
Designed with Caroline Slick
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.
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.
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.
Ganging for Stability
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.
Increase of stress, conflict, high blood pressure and more job turnover.
Experience negative effect on attention and creativity.
Reduced face-to-face interactions in the office.
The benefits of being close to co-workers in open plan offices were offset by factors such as increased noise and less privacy.
University of Sydney Study
Current Office Space Research Findings
Lack of Privacy
Low Acoustic Ratings
Need for Spacial Division
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?
“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.
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.
How might we address the problem points of current office spaces while enhancing workers wellness through biophilic elements?
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.
Natural materials and a pop of color to cohere with Hightower's existing line of products.
Friendly and approachable textures and colors.
When looking at materials for creating acoustic panels, we wanted to use natural materials and fabrics to enhance the biophilic design.
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.
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.
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.
Different iterations of felt spacial dividers and acoustic panels inspired by movement and shapes in nature.
Experimenting with different methods of woodworking to achieve the form and structure of our final concept.
Acoustic panels with integrated lighting, inspired by nature