Cork Helmet covers the head to muffle noise pollution
Milan 2015: Brussels designer Pierre-Emmanuel Vandeputte has created a cork helmet that lowers over the wearer's head when they need a respite from ambient noise.
Chosen for its insulating properties, the cork is shaped to resemble a bell jar that covers the user's entire head and neck – blocking out all of the surrounding sounds.
"Nowadays, we are surround by noise pollution and there is almost nothing to protect yourself from it," Vandeputte told Dezeen. "We've made fashion statements with glasses to protect you from the sun, or to improve your vision, but there is nothing for your ears."
The helmet is attached to the ceiling with a mechanism comprising a cork counter-weight, a rope and two pulleys.
When required, the user stands directly under the headgear and uses the ropes to lower it over their head. Two curved sections are removed from either side so the product rests snuggly over the shoulders.
"From time to time, when you get bored of the daily doldrum, you might need something like a break – to escape from the place you are in," said the designer. "The object is linked to your environment, where you are, where you want to escape from."
Vandeputte's Cork Helmet will launch as part of the Belgian Village exhibition at the Ventura Lambrate district in Milan, during next week's Salone del Mobile furniture fair.
The designer will also be launching a ladder with a seat at the top in the fair's Salone Satellite section for emerging talent.
Other products designed for shutting out the surroundings include a portable fabric pod that encases the top half of the body and squishy headgear for a power napping on the go.
Photography is by Delphine Mathy.