A possible solution to the noisy open office has arrived, in the form of sleek, sound-reducing box furniture. Designers Johan Kauppi and Bertil Harström of Glimakra created their new line to help such workspaces "achieve a functional room acoustic environment," according to Design Boom. Their system of sound absorbing furniture is called the Sabine collection, after physicist Wallace Clement Sabine, who is credited with founding the field of architectural acoustics.
Each piece is made of several "independent storage furniture" boxes grouped together, available in four widths and four heights, with different types of legs to choose from (brass, "round wooden in solid ash," or a "powder coated metal frame.") They also come in four calming, generally office-appropriate colors: gray, white, forest green, and of course, anthracite.
Pieces of the Sabine system can act as walls dividing large spaces, but they can also serve as the cubical you may or not be nostalgic for. When designer Robert Propst first unveiled what later became the cubicle, he thought of it as a "communications center" where sound was "acoustically insulated." With Sabine, "The pressed felt shells on the outside of the furniture interact with the slotted body in a way that creates smooth and good sound absorption across a wide frequency range," according to Klas Hagberg, who advised on the project. Sounds…like almost nothing, hopefully.