In the contemporary open-plan office, openness can come at a price. While the set-up can foster collaboration and creativity, there are times when a little privacy or just a little peace and quiet are exactly what’s needed to solve a tricky problem or get a terrific idea down. Couple openness with environments that are heavy on cool-looking, but not so sound conscious, materials (concrete, wood and the like) and you have something akin to a perfect storm of noise. So, designers and architects will turn to products—drapes, carpet and acoustic materials—for these spaces to mitigate the impact. Trouble is, aesthetics are often not part of the equation.
For the last four years, BuzziSpace has been turning out stylish “solutions for the collaborative environment,” says Tom Van Dassel, one of the founders of the firm. It’s a rare segment of growth in his industry. “The office market hasn’t been booming, but we’ve seen organic growth as the landscape is changing.” Nearly from the start, BuzziSpace’s products struck a chord. Soon after their US debut, the pieces from their collections found their way into offices at Google and Facebook. “They’re pioneering new way of working,” Van Dassel says of the companies, “and developing and stetting the standard of the new office space. Other companies are making themselves be more collaborative.” And BuzziSpace is right there with them.
The product line ranges from the standard to the unexpected, with many pieces designed with a nod to classic midcentury forms. There’re desks, shades and chairs, even ottomans and pillows designed to soak up sound. Then there are the more outré products that alleviate the effects of noise and provide privacy all the while making eye-catching design statements. In that camp, there’s the BuzziHive, a seating solution with high panels that can be massed. Then there’s the BuzziHood, a clever riff on the long-lost phone booth. There’s even the BuzziShade, a lamp which suggests a real-life Cone of Silence.
“We provide solutions that are conducive to interaction,” says Van Dassel. “We’re creating serendipity and providing as many opportunities for that spark to take place.”