​How to Make Acoustic Panels the Major Design Moment of Your Project

14 Mar.,2023


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To decorate or not to decorate? When it comes to acoustic wall and ceiling panels for commercial typologies, architects must ask whether or not they want a bold statement-making solution or one that seamlessly blends into the walls of a contemporary work-space. Both can be ideal solutions depending on context, but one thing is certain: This specifying decision is a crucial one due to the significant aesthetic impact of these products.

If the decorative approach is taken, acoustic panels have the capability to act as the visual centerpiece of a space much like an accent wall or large-format artwork but with the added benefit of functionality. Acoustic panels can brighten up a room with unusual shapes and compelling colors while also simultaneously soundproofing it. They solve a common practical problem in an open-plan office but, when adeptly specified on Source, can also be ridiculously good-looking.

Impressions by KnollTextiles

Creating a quiet space doesn’t mean the design of the room has to be quiet; in fact, some of the loudest panels from a visual perspective provided the highest soundproofing effects. As is well-documented by now, noise pollution is a real problem in the modern-day workplace. If we’re being bombarded with sound when we step outside closed doors, it’s imperative that we design interior spaces that help drown out the pandemonium we hear on the streets.

Today, architects have at their fingertips a range of sound-absorbing products that are so aesthetically handsome that they become decorative artworks in and of themselves. Manufacturers and designers who specialize in wall coverings offer a plethora of materials and textures to match your project.

BuzziBrickBack by BuzziSpace

Rossoacoustic PAD by Nimbus Group

Felt specialists like BuzziSpace and FilzFelt have pioneered design-centric acoustic products. The BuzziSpace BuzziBrickBack features stacked colors of self-adhering felt stripes that turn entire walls into visual art candy. Fabric behemoth KnollTextiles is also a major industry leader and offers its Impressions collection of ultra-thin sound-absorbing tiles as a premier product. Nimbus Group made the dimpled and cotton-like Rossoacoustic PAD, which is made of embossed fleece and comes six millimeters thick. It’s great for adding a unique shape to a wall and can even be used as a ceiling acoustical cloud.

Muratto’s cork organic blocks

Muratto Cork Wall Coverings has created organic blocks that come prefinished from Portugal. Made of molded recycled cork pieced together in saturated fashion-forward colors, the panels are cut in five high-relief geometric designs created with a major 3-D effect. The material is naturally antimicrobial, non-allergenic and anti-static and provides some levels of thermal insulation.

Kirei’s peel-and-stick Geometry tiles in Penta


Kirei’s EchoPanel Tiles come in three different style groups depending on aesthetic and ease-of-installation needs. One of the most attractive from this family is the Geometry collection, a peel-and-stick series comprising hexagons, squares, triangles, rectangles and pentagrams. The tiles can be arranged in any kind of configuration, and, because they come in a total of 20 colors, they can even be used to create an artistic mural. Geometry tiles offer an NRC rating of approximately .36 and have a Class-C fire rating.

Kirei’s EchoScreen

Further to this, Kirei’s EchoPanel Modular Screen Systems are freestanding solutions that can be used to wrap, divide or carve out space in an open plan. A variety of panel shapes in different heights can be combined with joiners that range from 360-degree pivot (for Platoon series only) to X- and Y-shape to straight and 90-degree connectors to build room dividers that go way beyond the accordion-style screens of yore. The connectors come in cream, charcoal or copper finishes to ensure there’s an option for every style interior and color palette.

Arper’s Parentesit Collection offers three shapes.

Smith and Fong’s Sound Collection

Even non-fabric companies like seating brand Arper and wood-panel company Smith and Fong have come out with their own impressive lines of decorative acoustic products. Arper’s playful geometric Parentesit collection, designed by Lievore Altherr Molina, unveils cut modules that can be specified to have different hues and fabrics.

They can even be backlit for a dramatic effect. Smith and Fong’s award-winning Sound Collection (formerly Plyboo Sound) introduced seven designs last year constructed from FSC-certified bamboo. The collection also incorporates the manufacturer’s QuietWall noise-dampening technology, which boasts an NRC of up to 0.70.

Zintra baffle system by Baresque

Ceilings can also feature eye-catching hanging panels, like Baresque’s Zintra acoustic line of polyester felt clouds and baffle systems. The clouds are blade- or petal-like volumes formed of felt grids and measure 43 to 47 inches in diameter, while the baffle systems come in two standards sizes and two baffle depths and come with a preassembled frame to easily create ceiling topographies.

Carnegie’s Xorel Artform

Also a newcomer on the acoustics scene, renowned textile company Carnegie recently launched their Xorel Artform. This line of geometric wall and ceiling panels utilizes a Quiet Core acoustical substrate for an NRC of up to 0.70 and the highly durable and cleanable Xorel fabric.

With the help of these manufacturers’ expertise, specifying striking acoustic paneling doesn’t have to be daunting, despite the huge number of options. Companies like these make it easy to pick a sound-proofing product that blends well with an architectural interior while also holding its own in a room. All you have to do is make your search on Source, and acoustic specialists will soon be in touch to help you arrive at the ideal solution — no shouting required!

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This article was written by Sydney Franklin, building upon original features by Sheila Kim.

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