Tag Archives: acoustics

A New Solution for Open Office Shelving

Photography courtesy of Loftwall.

When it comes to demarcating and optimizing space, the open office can present boundless opportunities and unavoidable challenges. Shelving systems are an obvious solution to the conundrum because they provide both a place to store items and a solid object that can be used to break up the visual expansiveness of an open layout. What frequently happens, however, is that these shelving systems create poor lines of sight and contribute to visual clutter.

Shift makes its ICFF 2019 debut. Photography courtesy of Loftwall.

Well, there’s a solution for that problem, too, and it comes courtesy of Dallas-based modular divider manufacturer Loftwall. Over the course of a cross-country research trip across North America, the brand learned what exactly designers need to create the most efficient and stylish open offices for their clients.

Photography courtesy of Loftwall.

“We spent a lot of time trying to understand how people packed functionality into their spaces,” explains Bryce Stuckenschneider, Loftwall’s CEO. “Square footage is at an all-time premium, and we kept hearing that anything we designed had to have 4 or 5 reasons for existing. That stuck out to us.”

Photography courtesy of Loftwall.


The product Loftwall invented to answer this demanding challenge is called Shift and it’s the product of “hundreds of conversations with designers over the last several years,” says Stuckenschneider. It’s a fully-customizable, modular solution that gives designers ultimate aesthetic control. Everything from the powder-coated frame, to the panels, to the surfaces can be altered to fit a client’s exact wants and needs. This includes acoustics integration, writable surfaces, and made-to-order decorative elements like branding.

Photography courtesy of Loftwall.

“Creatively dividing space is our favorite challenge to solve,” says Steve Kinder, Loftwall’s founder. “We launched Shift to solve two problems: lack of privacy and storage—both are a nasty by-product of the open office. We feel excited to get the design community’s feedback on our latest product.”

Shift will be available for specification starting in June 2019. The full Shift system will be on display at NeoCon 2019 at booth #7046.

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For more than 20 years many restaurateurs have asked their interior designers to “make it sound like there’s 100 people eating when there’s only a table of four dining.” This was intended to make people think it’s a great restaurant because it sounded like there were a lot of people eating there.  However, when it has 100 actually in-house, it sounds like 2,500 people. Now the full restaurant is unnaturally loud by design, acoustically resembling a rock concert rather than a nice place to have a great meal and good conversation. 


Perkins+Will Explains the Benefits of Interior Design in the Medical World

LOS ANGELES — Innovative and contemporary hospital designs have succeeded to not only guarantee patient satisfaction, but to also reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. Research has shown that hospitals featuring new designs and amenities increase patient satisfaction significantly. Even one study, conducted by Professor Dana Goldman and Associate Professor (Research) John A. Romley at the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California, showed that amenities are a larger factor in driving traffic to hospitals than clinical quality. As a result, amenity-filled hospitals with modern design features are attracting more patients, which benefits the hospital’s top line.

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Quality Products Needed To Meet Green Building Standards Today

Sustainable healthcare facilities will need energy-efficient building enclosures from the outset.

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Why You Should Visit the 3 Happiest Countries in the World

A new study by the U.N. recognized these three neighboring countries as the happiest in the world, so we’ve provided a guide for when you travel there.

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Four keys to designing autistic-friendly spaces

Autism, in part, gave us modern architecture, writes PDR’s Julie Troung.


JANUARY 25, 2018 |

Four keys to designing autistic-friendly spaces

Photo: PDR Corp.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurobehavioral condition, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one in every 68 births have autism in the U.S. Individuals with this condition may experience hypersensitivity of the senses, difficulty understanding what others are thinking and feeling, and cognitive delays. 

We have the potential to improve design quality for everyone by understanding how individuals with autism view the world. While autism in part gave us modern architecture, making ASD inclusivity a priority in design is a necessary step that could encourage innovation and potentially propel us into a new era of architecture.

You might wonder how autism could have given us modern architecture, well the answer lies in the use of eye tracking. As stated in a study in Common Edge, they have found that individuals with autism respond to visual stimuli completely different from neuro typical individuals. A neuro typical person focuses on the eyes, mouth, and nose of a face. 

Those with ASD ignore the central face and instead focus on outer features. Because a person with autism has brain connections in overdrive (hyperplasticity), they avoid details such as windows or eyes. 

This is why architects who have autism like Le Corbusier, who began his career in the 1930s, was attracted to simplicity. Therefore, some people credit Le Corbusier and consequently autism for the simplistic modern architecture movement.

There is a wide array of ways that we can design autism-friendly spaces. As stated in an article “Why Buildings for Autistic People Are Better for Everyone,” you can achieve prioritizing human health and welfare into our design routine by incorporating the following points:

1. Acoustics. Individuals on the autism spectrum are extremely, and at times, painfully sensitive to sounds. Providing better insulated spaces and allowing for manipulation of sound pressure levels would be beneficial. An example of acoustic manipulation would be adding pink sound.

2. Lighting. Light and color affect human’s mood, behavior and cognitive behavior. Just think, if you were to sit in a dark grey room for an hour compared to a light yellow room, would you feel a difference? Most autism friendly designs have small areas of bright color and light unsaturated earth tones.

3. Spatial configuration. Spaces that are orderly and defined are easier for the autistic mind to process. The use of sequential circulation, storage for non-essential items, sub-dividing rooms, and making spaces reconfigurable can help individuals with autism to better focus.

4. Materials. Furniture has the potential to influence the function, privacy and size of a space. For ASD, modular furniture and malleable spaces are preferable. Easily sanitized finishes are also important because some people on the autism spectrum can have a compulsive-like need for cleanliness.

Designing for ASD does not just benefit those who have autism. These design focuses can create timeless, enjoyable and multifunctional spaces for all.  If we approach design through an autistic lens, we do not prioritize standardization in lieu of accommodation. Acoustics, lighting, spatial configuration and materials are essential in quality design. By understanding all human experience through research, we can create better spaces and serve all who inhabit.

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Return On Environment: 3 Reasons Why It Matters In Interior Design

If an exquisite historic theater has poor sightlines and acoustics, or a trendy new restaurant is so sleek and chic that it’s uncomfortable, what are the chances these venues will be successful? Slim to none. No matter how stunning a space is, or fabulous its offerings, patrons won’t want to pay for performances they can’t see or meals in an inhospitable setting.

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