Story at a glance:
- Arktura introduces SoftShapes acoustic building blocks to make beautiful and peaceful workspaces.
- The open office environment can hurt productivity when employees are distracted.
- Designers can choose from more than 100 total size and shape options in this collection.
Noise is constantly around us, especially in the office, and these distractions become more detrimental if your office has an open office layout. This layout features no walls between desks, allowing increased sound from outside and office machines.
Acoustic design is crucial in absorbing excess noise in the office. This clash of sounds bounces off every hard object and surface in a room, creating a distracting work environment. Wall panels, ceiling baffles, and other acoustic infrastructure can help to create a more productive and peaceful office space.
The Next Stage in Acoustic Evolution
Commercial acoustic design has gone through multiple form factors and design iterations through the years. From straightforward linear baffles suspended from ceilings and plenum spaces to acoustic clouds providing a wide swath of coverage, there are styles to suit any commercial space. Continuing Arktura’s long history of innovative and performative design, this next stage of creative evolution brings us to our latest release, SoftShapes™.
SoftShapes is a versatile collection of three distinct geometric form factors in Tri, Quad, and Hex configurations. These algebraic shapes convey a new level to commercial acoustic design with creative and imaginative ways to construct layouts. SoftShapes Tri presents a triangular acoustic module, while SoftShapes Quad offers four-sided square baffle configurations. SoftShapes Hex is a six-sided acoustic module with a dynamic range of applications to round out the collection.
Designing with SoftShapes
SoftShapes Tri, Quad, and Hex bring a new level of depth in geometric form to acoustic control and design. Designers can create one-of-a-kind layouts not previously attainable, both by mixing shapes and installing them in tandem with other Arktura products. Nest Quad modules of various sizes together, install Tri shapes alongside TriSoft, or mix SoftShapes Hex with SoundStar and SoftGrid for a new range of multi-faceted acoustical cloud configurations. SoftShapes combines the best of Arktura’s versatility and Soft Sound acoustics to match the extent of a designer’s creative imagination.
These acoustic modules allow designers and architects to create unique layouts by pairing the modules together in clusters or spreading them throughout an array. “My favorite aspect of SoftShapes is that it allows you to combine and create multiple configurations using just three different geometric shapes. You can either do height offset or place them side by side. You can also choose multiple colors for the module to mix and match. It just allows for a lot of creativity,” says Daniel Zambrano, engineering coordinator at Arktura. Each profile is offered in four types of configurations with varying connecting seams throughout the baffles, offering various final looks.
SoftShapes marks the most extensive product release in Arktura history, with more than 100 total size and shape options available. All three shapes in this collection are offered in various lengths, widths, and heights—allowing designers to specify more than 40 size options per shape. SoftShapes modules can be tiled across a space to create a continuous grid look, used as freestanding clouds or in clusters to fit any design intent and acoustic needs. These acoustic clouds provide performative function as stand-alone installations but thrive when acting as building blocks for creative geometric configurations. Pair these shapes with more than 15 finish options in addition to our premium wood textures for a biophilic-inspired finish.
Modular Shapes to Fit Any Space
When designing these new acoustic cloud systems, modularity was at the forefront of the process. They are a perfect fit for any commercial project, with so many size options to choose from and the ability to field trim modules. “Modularity always aids designers in planning out spaces by knowing what to expect from pre-dimensioned modules. Designers can start their process popping in the SoftShapes, designing the room and space around an Arktura configuration rather than trying to fit in our modules afterwards,” says Kristen Fay, account manager at Arktura.
What it presents in aesthetics it doubles in function, as these modules are made of high-performance Soft Sound material, bringing the same quality of sound attenuation one comes to expect from Arktura. Soft Sound is made of 100% proprietary PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) material, with up to 60% recycled content, for a sustainable way to mitigate excess noise.
All three SoftShape figures can be installed as ceiling or wall applications, raising their versatility as a building block of acoustic design. “SoftShapes is an exciting way to work with new modular clouds like building blocks and designing with endless possibilities to create shapes that can align with any design,” says Patricia Hoffman, vice president of sales and marketing at Arktura.
This added flexibility also extends to its mounting options, as these acoustic modules were created with adaptability in mind for both designers and installers. The multi-faceted acoustic clouds in all three shapes contain adjustable drop locations for ease of installation. In addition to the multiple mounting options included with this line, including cable hung, all thread, strut mount, grid mount on ceilings, and direct mount across ceilings or walls.
With so many combinations, installation types, and uses, SoftShapes can fit into any project space. “The modules are a great addition to current Arktura offerings, and I foresee specs for use in larger open areas. For example, open workstations, restaurants, hotels, and fitness centers could use SoftShapes to define spaces without using walls or expensive screening systems,” Fay says.
Compatibility with Other Arktura Systems
These individual modules can provide targeted acoustic control or group different shapes together to create new and unique geometric acoustic layouts on both walls and ceilings. Take this customized design element one step further, as select size options are compatible with other Arktura geometric cloud systems. This compatibility allows designers to create never seen configurations of sound mitigation to fully express their design intent. Thanks to this adaptability, size selection, finish options, and flexible attachment methods, this versatile collection provides a plethora of tools to designers and specifiers.
Design option possibilities multiply with additional modules, link together various Quad modules to create a larger grid, or multiple Tri baffles to create an abstract triangular pattern. These stacked modules are ideal for wall or ceiling installations. Stack further with select configurations able to install seamlessly with other Arktura systems for unique acoustic layouts. Select sizes can even be suspended in tandem to create a dynamic nested aesthetic to provide concentrated sound mitigation in high-traffic areas such as communal work areas and lobbies. “My favorite aspect of this new product is the ability to create larger features out of the different shapes and sizes produced. For example, when modules are nested together and hung from the ceiling on different planes the effect is almost 3D and is just one of many possibilities for installation,” says Bridgette McLaughlin, account manager at Arktura.
As for what designers and architects can expect from these creative building blocks, creativity and modularity are key. “Ease of use, fun to design modules, and endless options,” Fay says. “SoftShapes are truly building blocks of ceiling modules, and who doesn’t love creating with blocks?”
The launch of SoftShapes is a monumental event for Arktura, releasing more than 100 total module combinations, to say nothing of the various finish and wood-like textures available at launch. But more than any design accolade, this launch gives designers the tools to unlock the full potential of their creativity. While simultaneously creating spaces that evoke emotion, awe, and, most notably, a quiet, productive work environment for all inhabitants.