Kvadrat Soft Cells is a modular system produced by Danish textile company Kvadrat. Each panel comprises a recycled aluminium frame filled with acoustic foam, which can be covered with a wide range of Kvadrat textiles.
“Currently Soft Cells consists of a very large variety of planar panels, with a patented technology for tensioning almost any kind of textile,” Nielsen explains in the movie, which Dezeen filmed at Kvadrat’s recently opened design workshop by architecture firm Caruso St John.
“One of the concepts that our innovation department is presently focusing on is going out of the plane, creating three-dimensional panels,” he adds.
“It is the result of enquiries that we have had over the years from architects working with free-form surfaces.”
The experimental three-dimensional panels are constructed from an array of customised aluminium ribs, over which fabric is stretched.
“It’s a bit like 1930s airplane construction,” Nielsen says. “Whereas on the planar soft cells we only tension the edge of the frame, on the three-dimensional project the tensioning system is spread over the entire surface.”
This construction approach allows Kvadrat to produce Soft Cells in a wide variety of different shapes, which enables architects to design spaces with very specific acoustic properties.
“We can create almost any shape that is possible within the physical boundaries of the textile,” Nielsen says. “With this very open and lightweight construction you have the possibility to adjust the absorptive qualities of the surface between absorption, reflection and diffusion.”
Nielsen says that he considers textiles to be “a simple, smart material” because of how it can be manipulated to produce different effects.
“You can almost see textiles as a simple smart material – materials that combine different functionalities,” he explains. “You can work with the properties of the textile for creating both the acoustic performance and your design intention.”
He adds: “By developing this three-dimensional system, we want to offer architects or designers the possibility of a much larger freedom of design with textile surfaces than they have today.”
This movie was filmed by Dezeen for Kvadrat in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Poznań, Poland.
Photography is by Dezeen, unless otherwise stated.
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