Alain Gilles designs felt BuzziBlinds to shield workers from office noise
Brussels-based designer Alain Gilles has created a sound-absorbing screen as his latest product for office acoustics specialists Buzzispace (+ slideshow).
Gilles updated the company's BuzziBlinds room divider, which features a series of five rotating panels that can be opened or closed depending on the level of privacy and noise reduction desired.
Such acoustic-centred products are becoming increasingly sought-after in response to open-plan office design, with felt popping up in products like lighting and cupboards.
Gilles' design includes subtle patterns carved into the BuzziBlinds' felt covers, as well as a new shape that is rounded or angled at the top so as to appear less "heavy visually".
The horizontal blinds can be customised in a range of fabrics – including several from Danish textile manufacturers Kvadrat – and styled with different colours on each side or on alternate blades to create a distinctive look.
The powder-coated metal base is available in either straight or curved configurations, so it can almost fully enwrap a workstation or meeting nook.
BuzziBlinds' felt panels both attenuate and diffuse noise, providing an acoustic screen for noisy workplaces.
Noise reduction has become a particular preoccupation in Scandinavian interiors, with products ranging from colourful wall tiles to dome-shaped baffles that hang over workers' heads.
Buzziblinds won an HiP Award for accessories design last month at office furniture fair NeoCon 2016 in Chicago, where London studio PearsonLloyd also showed furniture designed to create private zones within open workplaces.
Gilles has designed a number of other products for BuzziSpace, including an "indoor picnic table" and phone box-like booth. His other projects include an extendable table for Italian furniture brand Bonaldo and a bed that lets users hide chairs, a desk or even a bath behind its adaptable headboard.