CONCEPT: The initial approach to this project was to design a solution for a problem that I could relate to as a college student. As a millennial and target demographic of Sauder’s design challenge, I wanted to research and implement a solution for sound, and in particular, a design that utilized sound absorption.
The number of housing developments are increasing, resulting in smaller living spaces, not as many insulated walls, and a lot of bare surfaces with a low absorption rate. For this project, I drew inspiration from the commercial furniture and outdoor tent design. Wall panels, elongated wingback chairs, sofa cocoons, and screen partitions – I immediately noticed that texture played a large role in the design. Some of the possible sound absorbing materials included cardboard, upholstery, felt, open and closed foams, cork, and cellular structures. In my preliminary sketches, I explored different applications such as upholstered case goods with removable upholstery, a cardboard furniture system, and a modular wall panel unit.
My final design is an upholstered shell like structure that is meant to enclose the user and to help with minimizing sound. It provides a quiet zone for studying, and is an individualized design that has customizable upholstery. The basket weaved cushions is removable for a flat packing capability, as is the interlocking metal frame. The shell on the desk can be purchased separately, and is stabilized with clear rubber footings.
MEDIUM: SketchUp; Podium SU.