The Art (Deco) of Sound

When Patty and the crew at Gaus Acoustics showed me the 1912 Collection from Acoufelt, my immediate response was, “Oh that’s amazing, I love the Art Deco movement!”. This art movement influenced so much of our popular culture today, and in many ways people don’t even realize. To see it reemerging in a new form that also plays to the origins of it is just so much icing on the cake.

Oh, right. You may not know me yet. Hi! I’m Tim Toolen, and in addition to working with Gaus Acoustics in graphics, marketing, and brand design, I’m also a fine artist who loves to study art history.

Interior Design Product in a space

The Origins of Art Deco

See, the Art Deco movement started with the rise of Decorative Artists, who included furniture and textile designers, jewelry and glass artisans, and a variety of other craftsmen.

The Society of Decorative Artists (SAD) was founded in 1901, and Decorative Artists were finally given the same rights of authorship as traditional painters and sculptors.  This was a huge leap forward in terms of recognition for both their trade, as well as even perhaps the true beginnings of interior design as we know it today.  

Art Deco was, and still is, associated with both luxury and modernism.  It combines materials, methods, and objects in ways that scream sophistication and elegance, all while being driven with the times it is created in.  From the association with luxury-class rooms on ocean liners and trains, and the decorations and design of the great movie and theater palaces of the 20’s and 30’s, to a more sober, but no less striking and elegant look, after the Great Depression. 

And while the movement did eventually start to fade after World War II, there was a revival of sorts in it’s popularity after efforts in the US and Europe in the 1970’s to preserve Art Deco architecture.  Even to this day the movement continues to inspire modern-day designers and artists in contemporary clothing fashion, jewelry, interior designers, and yes even graphic designers! 

Acoustic Product photo installed in project

Even the naming of the collection of “1912” is significant in the beginning history of the Art Deco movement!  SAD originally was to hold the first major exhibition of original Decorative Arts in 1912, but because of postponement and the war, didn’t actually take place until 1925.  So the naming of this offering as the 1912 Collection is actually honoring what would have been the original date of the first true exhibition of this movement. 

Some may call that coincidence.  Personally, there are too many details, nuances, and experts at work with the creation of this line of products to call it coincidence.  What I call that is an attention to detail on a level that speaks to the expertise of these two companies, and their dedication to their respective arts.  The partnership that created the 1912 Collection should have heads turning for that alone. 

Now, remember textile designers were one of the types of artisans that made Art Deco a thing.  That’s also part of what makes the partnership that made this collection even more significant.  It’s not just the beautiful brush strokes, line work, and patterns, it’s the design of the material itself as well!

When you have top interior designers and acoustical experts get together to make a product that BOTH would be proud to utilize in their respective fields separately, but actually accomplishes the end result of both beauty AND acoustical harmony in a space, then you have a product that truly stands apart from the rest. 

The truth is I could go on and on about how the Art Deco movement has influenced everything from cruise ships to automotive design, architecture in both Miami Beach and Hollywood (the city AND the movies).  But what does any of that have to do with Gaus Acoustics, and taking the Noise out of Sound?  It’s all in the details!  In fact, go ahead and skim this article again and you’ll see what I mean.  It’s okay, I’ll wait.

Architectural Product installed in space

The Gaus Acoustics - Acoufelt Partnership

...caught back up?  Good.  See, It’s the details that Acoufelt and Pophouse paid attention to, the details of design, of acoustical expertise and materials, even down to the attention paid to the detail of the name 1912 Collection. 

Its these details that are important to Gaus Acoustics, because we know that details matter when it comes to the right product for the right solution.  And we have that solution for you.  Call us and let’s talk about how we can help! 

The New (Home) Office Noise

It seems that the ubiquitous “corner office” that was the ideal location achievement in many corporations at the turn of the century has a quite different meaning in the year 2021. Many offices today seem to have a view of everything from a suburban back yard or even a home kitchen.

Millions of people have renovated, converted, or annexed their dining room or spare bedroom into a home office, and if the statistics are to be trusted, these new office spaces may become even more commonplace than they are even now.

So what does this have to do with acoustic solutions?  After all, shouldn’t a home office be nice and quiet compared to the constant cacophony of noises in a typical cubical farm or office building?  The answer is a surprising no, it’s not quieter, it’s just different noises in a different environment.

Article Header

Instead of a dozen phones ringing, an intercom system, and the gossip talks at the end of the hall, you now have garbage trucks, delivery vehicles, family pets...and maybe still the gossip talks at the end of the hall depending on who’s on the phone after a day at school.  Dogs are barking, lawn mowers are rumbling, and the quiet neighborhood you swore you lived in suddenly seems like the center of a three-ring circus.

With the number of jobs moving to at least a partial remote position, if not fully remote, a solution needs to be in place for an ethical level of productivity to continue.  Let’s see what Google thinks some ways are to control the noise levels in today’s home office environment:

  • Use exterior walls in choosing your home office.
  • Curtains. Thick, heavy curtains.
  • Buy a white noise machine or fan to drone out the noise
  • Reinforce your windows.
  • Earplugs.

...and the best of them all...

  • Trust time to fix it

So, we can hope for thicker exterior walls to be available in homes and apartments, surround ourselves with thick, heavy curtains, buy a machine that makes noise to drown out other noise, wear earplugs, or quite literally try and wait it out.

You just can’t make that last one up.

With companies rethinking their leases on office buildings, and a work-from-home model that was previously thought unsustainable having proved downright productive, a more realistic view on noise control needs to be considered for the at-home workforce.

Blog Photo

The Good News for Your Home Office

The good news is that the experts in the business of noise control have the answers the remote workforce and their employers need. No, it’s not buying foam panels from everyone's favorite online jungle who’s double-sided tape either won’t work or removes chunks of drywall, and it’s definitely not pretending it will all go away.

In truth it’s the same solutions that businesses use in their offices, adapted quite ingeniously to the home environment.  Engineered acoustic foam dividers for desks in a myriad of colors to suit the home’s decor, acoustic panels that can be cut to shapes of all kinds for visual interest, as well as wrapped in sublimated print graphics to disguise as art pieces, movable acoustic screens, noise-dampening wood wall treatments...the list goes on.

Are you are an employer looking for a mass solution for their remote workforce?  Perhaps a self-employed business owner who has seen an increase in the daytime noise that isn’t going to go away?  Maybe simply a newly remote employee who in proactively looking to better your productivity.  Regardless of your situation, the need to work in a productive and sound-controlled environment, and we have the answers to the new home office noises many never realized were there are at our fingertips.

Whether your office is across from the boardroom, has cubicle walls, or is just down the hall from your home kitchen, Gaus Acoustics can help you take the noise out of sound. Give us a call or shoot us an email to get started with a free consultation!