The world is a noisy place. It adds to the flavor of life, so hey, we’re not complaining! But sometimes we all need a little peace and quiet, don’t we?
Enter acoustic barriers, also known as sound panels, sound dampeners or noise barriers.
Whether you’re looking to muffle the stomping shoes of your upstairs neighbor with an acoustic panel ceiling, box out the sounds of your nearby “garage band” or perhaps dampen the constant roar of freeway noise with a sound absorption solution, acoustic panels just might be music to your ears.
The Science of Silence
Remember science class? Not the part where you shot spitballs. No, no, but when you first learned sound doesn’t make a peep in vacuum?
Since sound is a mechanical wave, it needs to travel through a medium. That’s matter!
Even if a bomb went off ten feet from your space window, you wouldn’t hear a peep. It’s technically a vacuum.
If a true vacuum has no matter, how can space – with all of its cosmic bodies and “stuff” – possibly be a vacuum? Fortunately, HowStuffWorks.com mulled this over: “It’s because space is big. Between these large objects are millions of miles of emptiness. This empty space — sometimes called interstellar space — is practically devoid of all matter, so it’s effectively a vacuum.”
Sound Panels: The Ins-and-outs
Down here on earth, we are surrounded by matter. The air itself is dense enough to transmit sound obviously. Go ahead and test it out by clapping your hands. Amazing!
But since we cannot eliminate matter from our world (that would be very bad), we can select the right matter to strategically place between the sound and receiver to dampen the noise.
This can be achieved through multiple solutions, but some are far more elegant than others. While this list is not exhaustive, it lays out a few of the options at our disposal:
Option 1) We can suck all of the air out of your quiet room. (Definitely not advised!)
Option 2) We can put something VERY thick in the way, and the sound will dissipate before it reaches its source. (Getting better, but still a little off.)
Option 3) We can strategically and carefully choose materials with sound dampening properties (not necessarily married to thickness), and place them where they are needed most.
If you chose option three, you are already on your way to a more peaceful and quiet world. Still, there is a fourth option that is on the rise. At art Force, we’ve been hard at work in our production facility experimenting to bring you Artistic Sound Panels.
What are Artistic Sound Panels?
Artistic Sound Panels are your standard acoustic panels “prettied up” to – you guessed it – feature art! Some will have artwork directly adhered to them while others will become patchwork pieces of art, featuring aspects of bright colors, symmetry, texture and modernity like the example from JAMPF Software from yesterday’s post.
If you missed it, here is a brief glimpse through the installation process and the rest of JAMF’s beautiful office.
Sound Panel Applications in Healthcare
Within the workplace, sound can be more than a nuisance – it can present risks for staff and patients in healthcare settings.
Consider, for instance, a busy health clinic where people are hustling from here to there. Picture this same clinic is small, and the conversations taking place behind doors are confidential. If your doors and walls don’t have what it takes to keep all those sounds, well, confidential, you just might be creeping up on HIPAA issues or at the very least, a breach of your patient’s privacy.
Sound panels are probably not a fix-all for problems like this, but they could sure help. And with the added benefits of inspirational artwork adhered to the panels – perhaps from our Still Life collection for instance – they could double down in their effectiveness. (For those who haven’t seen Still Life, make sure to check it out!)
Sound Panel Applications in Hotels & Hospitality
In the hospitality industry, people are always trying to create a sense of ambiance or tranquility. While some hospitality venues will be livelier than others and hustle and bustle is part of the experience, others will seek sound proofing solutions for the comfort of their guests.
Picture a hotel room that is right next to the Billiards Hall. Or a hotel in Las Vegas where the sounds of slot machines in the lobby are making their way to nearby rooms. Or even a massage room – regardless of its location in the hotel – where people expect silence and calmness. No matter the need, sound panels could be a welcome addition in these settings.
Sound Panel Applications in Corporations
For corporations of all sizes, a lot happens in meeting rooms. Sometimes the nature of those meetings is confidential.
Show of hands for those of us who have overheard people passionately debating something behind closed doors at one time in their career. While most of the time sound is less of a concern, when things are better kept squarely between four walls, sound panels can help keep private conversations private.
More to Come
As we’ve mentioned time and again, Art Force is constantly experimenting and trying to create new products to change the artwork services industry and give it new and exciting applications. As our horizon broadens, so does yours!
We continue to experiment with our sound panels, and even plan on installing sound proofing on our Venture Lab ceiling to mute upstairs foot traffic. Stay tuned in the weeks and months to come for updates!