2019: Design of a family of acoustic panels that follows Kinnarps guidelines

Gabriel Juárez & Julián Soria in collaboration with Kinnarps.

The project consists in the development of a family of acoustic panels for the company Kinnarps AB, a Swedish company that provides interior workspace solutions for offices and public environments. The main goals of the project is to generate one or two feasible concepts, that reach an effective sound absorption, a proposal of feasible materials, manufacturing processes, a stable and easy way of mounting, and an attractive appearance for the target market. The project uses as main methodology Design Thinking with a user centred approach. Secondarily is influenced by the product development process of Ulrich & Eppinger and some IDEO method cards. A literature review that mainly covers acoustics with an emphasis in absorption, market research, and user studies were performed in order to have a based foundation to create feasible concepts.

As a final result it is proposed a family of 3 different types of structures with 4 variable absorbent panels that ease the way of mounting, and gives several compositions to the customer, depending on the type of environment they have. This system also reduces the number of holes on the wall per panel in comparison to the one that the company currently has (four per panel). The base generates an air backing space between the panels and the wall in order to catch the sound at a higher speed and increase the sound absorption. It is considered that the final concept fulfils all the demands established, although there are some debatable requirements like the functionality, and sustainability that require further development. The methodology and the approach chosen were considered effective tools to work with product design projects that seek an innovative result because they give an appropriate mix of exploration and selection of ideas, and relevant input obtained by the involvement of the users.