Nature Inspired Panels Keep You Safe from Prying Ears
Lack of privacy is one of the more oft-launched attacks on small space living. In small dwellings where there are two or more people, people might not be afforded the room to retreat and be by themselves. But what is privacy really? Generally speaking, privacy has three varieties: spatial, visual and audio; all three can exist separately or together. In a small space, you might not be able to do a lot about spatial privacy as you will likely be near the person(s) you want a break from; in our experience, if you have visual and audio privacy, spatial is the least important type of privacy. Visual privacy is most often achieved with walls or curtains or, we suppose, masks and blacked out helmets (neither recommended for ongoing use). But in our experience, it’s audio privacy that trumps the other two. Quiet, more so than space or visual cover, is the thing that allows most people to feel a sense of retreat. We’ve discussed white noise and wall panels as tools for achieving this when space is tight. We just ran across these freestanding leaf-shaped panels by Japanese designer Jin Kuramoto which create flexible audio barriers for spaces small and large.
Manufactured by Swedish company Offecct, who has a range of sound-canceling products, the “Wind” room dividers were inspired by natural shapes. They are constructed of noise-canceling fabric stretched across metal tubes. While Kuramoto mostly sees the panels as applicable to large “acoustically chaotic spaces” where noise travels unimpeded, we can’t see why they couldn’t be used in smaller spaces to create flexible audio dividers, creating the virtual space people seek when the actual space is lacking.