In the San Francisco office of Airbnb, they have banners attached to the ceiling with distance of two feet between them. These banners are made of recycled cotton material but they are not used as decors in the office. Their main purpose is noise absorption much like the role of sound proof glass in closed offices but with the rise in open office settings, items such as these are starting to gain popularity.
According to the head of the internal architecture and interior design in Airbnb, Aaron Taylor Harvey, sound modulation is a top priority in their company. Technology companies nowadays such as Airbnb are more inclined to office spaces that are located in urban area, with open space setting and made of glass walls. It is their goal to have a good flow of communication and easier collaboration with these types of modern offices. The downside is that it is prone to noise pollution. This is why modern designers such as Harvey are finding solutions through smart designs and objects that are sound absorbent in order to counter the noise.
Aside from ceiling banners installed by the team of Harvey, they also made sure that all surfaces are covered with panels that absorb sound. This is the same as fabric wallpaper and it is placed to cover walls to make sure that quiet rooms are different from rooms where noise is tolerated. Harvey said that the right distance between the desks would suffice in a warehouse but it is not possible with the offices of Airbnb because these are located in urban areas. This is when creative methods have to be employed to suppress the noise.
Two or three decades ago, the solution is easy as all you have to do is install fiberglass on walls but the aesthetic is not the best. Acoustical Surfaces is only one of the companies that specialize in creating materials that act as soundproofing. They create products from recycled materials for companies such as Airbnb that aims to be eco-friendly. Instead of the sound proof glass, they create panels out of created out of recycled denim or newspapers.