Jan 10th 2019

New Year, New Themes: Wellness, Warmth, and Scalability

John Stein

At the start of each new year there is a fresh surge of articles forecasting which design trends are ‘in’ and which design trends are ‘out’. Many of these trends or themes have a direct correlation to sound management, perhaps more than you may even realize!

As you search for new design inspiration, don’t underestimate what the right acoustic treatment can do for a space. The following three themes—wellness, warmth, and scalability—are not only guiding our development of new products, patterns, sizes, and colorways, but are also prominent in the design of the interiors we live, work, learn, shop, dine, worship, and play in.

Theme #1: Wellness

It’s undeniable. Wellness is the new ‘green’. For years, environmental considerations have taken center stage in architectural and engineer thinking. After all, efficient and sustainable buildings ultimately save money and are better for the planet. However, today, the design process has shifted its focus to the human experience.

Whitman Walker Health Dc

Bright orange, eco-friendly EchoPanel Simple Baffles diffract sound waves at Whitman-Walker Health, thus improving overall sound performance for occupants.



Younger generations are much more vocal with their preference for physical environments that promote wellness. In response, organizations are reshaping their approach to building design. Rather than honing in on the building itself, the focus is turning to the true role of the space—to keep those who occupy it healthy, happy, safe, and comfortable.

One of the primary factors of wellness is how we experience sound in the built environment. Individuals are seeking acoustic comfort in their interiors. On one hand, distracting sound can affect our bodies in more negative ways than we realize—from sleep disturbance and impaired cognitive performance, to changes in heart rate and increased blood pressure.

In other instances, adding sound to a space can increase overall well-being, despite how counterintuitive that may seem. For example, sound masking is commonly found in office environments as a way of masking speech frequencies and creative a sense of privacy in an open space. This feature is also gaining popularity in residential and healthcare settings to aid with overall sleep quality.

Theme #2: Warmth

With environmental awareness and wellness on the rise, many are also looking for innovative ways to keep a space welcoming and warm.

As biophilia takes hold as a design trend, it marks a shift away from pure, sleek spaces to a mixed media of modern and natural elements that provide a warmer feel, making it feel more like home, or at least like you are tied to nature rather than in a box. Our EchoPanel colors instantly help add warmth to any space by relieving the never-ending white wall syndrome that was all too common in the last design cycle.

Echopanelcolors20

Kirei’s EchoPanel colors are available in twenty various colors, many of which add an additional level of warmth to a space.



Whether it be a co-working space, a restaurant, a conference room, a healthcare facility, a library, a worship center, a home theater, or even an airport terminal, designers across the board are incorporating warmth. These spaces are more open, inviting, fluid, and appealing to occupy.

Theme #3: Scalability

Space flexibility is becoming a paramount design trend as the future of an organization's success is driven by its ability to adapt. Today, companies are asking for a design that can easily scale up ordown without sacrificing an occupant’s experience.

Ep Partition Platoon Woven Image 2

Kirei’s EchoPanel Platoon Screen can easily shift in placement and configuration as needed.



Take a minute to think of the workplace landscape and how it has changed over from small cubicles to the open-office and now the flexible workplace. Mobile workforces are less fixed-in-place than ever before, therefore, spaces need to be configured to react quickly to changes in workforce or people utilization. Not only are we seeing this trend in commercial spaces, but hospitality designers are also finding that scalability is becoming more essential in restaurants, especially as a brand seeks to grow.

2019 is the year to start (if you haven’t already!) designing for the human experience. While many design trends may come and go, the general consensus is that wellness, warmth, and scalability are here to stay, and we’re completely on board.

As your acoustic solutions partner, our performative products help reduce sound while introducing stimulating design elements. Contact a Kirei service rep today for more inspiration on how our products can help you infuse wellness, warmth, and scalability into your space!


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