Space Dividers for Offices: Looking beyond glass

Space dividers play multi-functional roles in an office space. Other than creating spaces within spaces, they act as acoustic insulators, vertical storage units, signage holders or even message boards. Every office design brief today specifies the need to incorporate cabins, meeting rooms and conferences as an integral aspect of the space planning and in most cases, interior designers and architects end up specifying toughened glass, gyp-board or MDF partitions in their design specifications for partitions. The benefits of using these materials are pretty obvious but also extremely over-rated.

The impact that glass and particle board production has on the environment has been widely documented and conveniently ignored. From the mining of sand for the glass industry to the release of potentially lethal gases and VOCs during the production process of glass and particle board, every step is a step towards an unsustainable tomorrow. A rather direct and simple way to tackle these issues would be to simply reuse and recycle these materials. It might not be easy or even practical to completely do away with the standard materials like glass and particle board, but would it do us harm though to think outside the box and look at the many eco-friendly and brilliantly creative solutions that are already available today for the modern office space. Not only are the solutions highlighted in this post simple, recycled, recyclable, they add a lot of character and design value to the spaces they are installed within.

‘Fort’ Acoustic Partition System

Designed by Arihiro Miyake, the individual modules of this acoustic partition system are formed of recycled PET bottle fibre. The assembly of modules is facilitated by integrated high-performance magnets which allow easy modification and unlimited extensibility to this system.

Recycled Water Bottle Partition by Klein Dytham 

Tokyo-based practice Klein Dytham Architecture has recycled used water bottles to create partitions for the office of Danone Waters.

‘Nomad’ system by MIO

Made from recycled, double-wall cardboard, Nomad is a modular architectural system that can be assembled into freestanding, temporary partitions without hardware, tools or damage to existing structures. The modules can be arranged into open or closed configurations creating private environments or light and airy room dividers. The Nomad System can also be configured to create doorways and corners, easily adjusting to any indoor space.

‘Ditto’ by 3Form

Individual cross-shaped pieces combine to create a three-dimensional partition, wall feature or even an art piece. Ditto allows for high design customisation with the low impact of 40% pre-consumer recycled content.  Ecoresin, the 3Form product that is used to make the pieces that form Ditto, is a non-toxic and sustainable material.

‘Tikibaq’ by Bleu Nature

Marketed as an outdoor screen for decks and patios, Tikibaq from Bleu Nature can become a beautiful screen for office spaces. Formed from driftwood and lacquered stainless steel, Tikibaq acts as an interesting space divider.

Barrisol sheets

Providing a variety of solutions for partitions and ceilings, the Barrisol sheet is formed from a co-polymer material which is guaranteed to be lead-free and 100% recyclable. Barrisol takes back old Barrisol sheets after years of use for recycling.

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6 comments
  1. BeyondSteel said:

    I personally think this material is terrific. I am in agreement with much of the information provided and am motivated to find out more. I’m hoping more information will be added in the near future….
    nice picture anyway…

    • Thank you BeyondSteel.

      I’m currently working on the next post which will be about sustainable design solutions for homes but will deal with a new area (not partitions/furniture)… Would love to have your comments on future posts too.

      Thanks again. Vijay

  2. Yusuf said:

    Nice one, emailing you for a possible small project.

  3. Vishal said:

    great info Viju.. The Miyake magnet based acoustic partition sounds real exciting. !! Keep it going.. :)

    • Thanks Khopu… please do send me information if you come across any interesting sustainable space design solutions. Cheers! :)

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