Modular Acoustic Blocks

Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS


For centuries, rugs and carpets have not only adorned our interiors visually with colors and patterns but they have also softened the spaces we live in acoustically.  By absorbing sound reverberations that would otherwise create harsh and dissonant spaces, carpets provide a sense of acoustic comfort that we usually take for granted.

This project updates these traditional uses of carpet with a modern-day understanding of acoustics, a sensibility for 3-dimensional, aperiodic tiling techniques and a knowledge of contemporary manufacturing processes.

What was once a 2-dimensional surface covering a flat wall becomes a 3-dimensional volume formed by a set of modular carpet blocks.  This set of soft, playful forms both traps sound reverberations with far greater efficiency and gives new spatial and colorful articulation to a flat surface.  The tiling geometry is based on a pentagonal, aperiodic grid which allows for a potentially infinite and non-repeating pattern to emerge as the tiles are placed.   Coupled with a wide variety of color and texture options, the possibilities for a customized carpet assembly are endless.

The current assembly features 60 pieces of Flor carpet tile that are patterned and folded into 6 unique 3-dimensional volumes.  Each of the 6 volumes maintains an identical footprint allowing them to fit anywhere within the grid.  Two types of carpet materials and 3 different colors are featured adding further graphic variation to the resulting topography.