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.