The revival of felt in the office.

It is not surprising that felt is one of the most interesting WOW! material presented at the Salone del Mobile 2016, and an authentic revival in the office environment. Elastic and resistant, flexible, insulating, soundproof and ecological: felt is the symbol of the new trends of the interior design.

If the office design is rediscovering a material like felt, it is probably because its features meet perfectly the new trends: flexibility, malleability, low environmental impact (felt is made mainly by woolen fibers), with a particular attention paid to noise control, humidity and temperature.
At Salone del Mobile 2016 we found different design objects highlighting the quality and the way felt can be used. We present here the most interesting ones.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

Opening. Wave, Hey-Sign. Wool felt is an ideal material for partition: it optically separates open offices and living environments, absorbing noise and improving acoustics. The room divider Wave is made by 3 mm strong wool felt (5 linear meter per element) arranged in waves to enhance the sound-absorbing effect. The black aluminium frame is almost completely covered with felt. The connecting points are made of felt and allow and easy extension of the structure. The acoustic feature of felt is used by Hey-Sign also for wall panels or desk separators.
2. Wind, Offecct, Jin Kuramoto. “These room dividers are a concept more than individual products”, Jin Kuramoto explains. “They can be seen as a forest of organic shapes, a celebration of the beauty of nature, that also control acoustics like a kind of tuner, and that make the environment more pleasant and friendly.  I think that it will be very nice to have these room dividers as reminders of nature’s beauty in a hospital or a large office landscape, for example. They also make it possible to speak in private even in acoustically chaotic environments.”
3. Tomako, Vivero. A polyester helmet or a giant hat designed by the finnish brand Vivero: an original solution to help concentrating in the office.
4. I Felt Oak, Christian Lutz. Christian Lutz, a student of  the“Design, Manual & Material Culture at University St. Pölten (Austria), has challenged the concept of hybrid modularity, mixing oak wood and felt, trying to answer the question: how much space has to be envolved to call an element “partition”?
5. USM Inos, USM. The USM modularity comes back in the shape of boxes, in 4 different dimensions, adaptable to USM Haller. Designed with the swiss atelier oï, USM inox boxes allow to create different combinations and are easy to pile up. The cover is thought to be used also like an elegant tray.
6. Nascondino, Pierre-Emmanuel Vandeputte. 
Photo Credit Pauline Miko. Nascondino, the italian translation for the game “hide and seek”, is a collection niches, designed for breaks and relax moments. A half-barrier that, letting still see the feet of whomever is seated, realized the concept of the “presence in the absence”.

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