Drawing people in.
If the office of the future is to be a place for collaboration, creativity and nurturing relationships, then companies must offer spaces which intrigue people and draw them in.
The design used curtains to transform the Upper Ground floor of Orangebox’s Smartworking space into a series of flexible areas. The effect was to create different zones for co-working, meetings and quiet concentration, which could be opened up instantly into a large collaboration space when required.
Clerkenwell Design Week visitors were impressed. Orangebox Marketing Manager, Liz Walker, said “We’ve had lovely feedback on the way the curtains have been specified and how well they work within the space.”
Waverley installed suspended track from which it hung Kvadrat Ginger 2, Kvadrat Daybreak and Kvadrat Zulu 2 curtains to create the zones. The use of transparent fabrics added to the mystery, encouraging guests to peek inside to discover and use the various spaces.
The installation was Waverley’s first participation in Clerkenwell Design Week. Specification Manager, Ben Vowles was on hand throughout to explain the concept to the Orangebox visitors. He said, “The response was great. People loved the flexibility of what we can do in the space and how simple it is to change the nature of the work environment.”
Acoustics and Perception
Ben found many of the attendees were intrigued by the acoustic properties of the various zones: “Although the designers did not specify acoustic fabrics for this project, we offer many sound absorbing options. However, even the relatively lightweight fabrics in this space have an effect on how people perceive sound.”
Many visitors referred to psychoacoustics when discussing this aspect of the curtains. The scientific study of sound perception includes how a person’s experiences, prejudices and situation influence the perceived quality of the sound they hear.
A curtained area, where we have some degree of physical screening from others, can be enough to make our brains think those outside are excluded. This makes it easier for us to concentrate on what people inside our space are saying even though the noise level from outside is not significantly reduced.
Flow and Flexibility
The curved tracks make each separate zone interesting in its own right and create a dynamic flow for people moving from one area to another. The user is never moving in a straight line, and the consequent obscuring of what’s round the next curve further emphasises the privacy of the spaces.
While Clerkenwell Design Week is over for another year, it’s not the end for Waverley as the curtained zones are to be a permanent feature of Orangebox’s Smartworking space. For more information on curtains and room dividers contact Waverley and to book a visit to the Smartworking showroom contact Orangebox.