Imagine only hearing what you want to hear. Perhaps you are one of those people who is working in an office space with an open landscape, at a busy a hotel, or a loud restaurant. All very noisy places. Now imagine that you could reduce all of that noise by 20%-30% just by hanging different art on the walls. Would you do it?
I met up with Janus Langhorn, a man determined to change the Swedish work environment for the better through art and acoustic improvement. He took me on a tour of the ground floor of the Radisson Hotel in the centre of Malmo, showing me his photography art hanging on the walls. They were absolutely stunning!
However, that was not the aim of the tour. He was eager to show me the structure and technique behind the pictures on the walls. They were not ordinary pictures in a frame. They were interchangeable, sound absorbing pictures, bringing a sense of calmness to the busy ground floor of the Radisson.
About the man with a quiet impact
Growing up, Langhorn was fascinated by Cartier Bresson, Ansel Adams and other great photographers. He decided that he, too, was going to pursue the dream of becoming a professional photographer. Years later in 2007, Langhorn was elected the best photographer of Southern Sweden. The following year he was published in National Geographic and he later went on to win the people's award in the Metro Photo Challenge.
Langhorn has now turned his talent into a functional one. He wants to create the most blissful and quiet work environments in Sweden. In order to do so, he has teamed up with the Danish company Akuart who supply him with the sound absorbing picture frames, which he then fits his stunning photos onto.
We all know the feeling of walking into an empty apartment for the first time. Each step sounds like you are walking in a hollow corridor. The sounds bounce off the walls instantaneously.
As soon as your furniture arrives, the acoustics of the apartment changes. Now imagine hanging sound absorbing picture frames on the walls. Reducing the sounds of the apartment by another 20% to 30%. This might not be as necessary in one's own home, as it is in a busy and loud workplace. There, any reduction of noise will be a positive contributor to people’s mental energy levels, and abilities to concentrate.
Siemens Case Study
To test the effect of the sound absorbing picture frames, Akuart made a case study in collaboration with the Siemens department in Copenhagen and Sweco who measured the acoustic difference.
A before and after of hanging the sound absorbing picture frames in the open landscape brought in a 20% reduction of the noise. And a before and after in the open dining area brought in a 30% reduction of the noise.
On top of that, people working in the office felt that it was easier for them to concentrate, the communication was more effortless, and people felt less exhausted after a day at work.
There is no doubt Langhorn is a man with a mission. Business by business, school by school, Langhorn wants to change work environments in Sweden.
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