Noise Absorbing Patterns

We were interested in studying noise absorbing qualities of three-dimensional patterns. In this self-initiated project our intention was to find a structure that reduces unpleasant noise, can be used to zone a space without completely blocking the view and to let some light pass through.

Principles of Noise Reduction

To understand noise reduction a little better we dived into the complex world of the physics of sound. In principle we found two ways of reducing noise. Either the incoming sound waves are scattered and diffused or they are absorbed. A so called ‘sonic crystal pattern’ combines both principles and caught our interest.

Experimental Setup

To evaluate the performance of our pattern designs we built a tubular test rig. In the middle we placed our 3d printed pattern samples and recorded the sound level in front and behind of it.

Series of Measurement & Evaluation

We measured the noise reduction capabilities of each of the 10 pattern samples across the frequency spectrum and compared them to each other.

Acoustic Simulation

Out of curiosity we took the best performing pattern and simulated & visualised the noise reducing qualities in Rhino with a Grasshopper script. The simulation results pretty much matched our findings from the previous analog tests.

Examples of Use

We imagine that this ‘sonic crystal pattern material’ could be used in larger spaces like offices, hotel lobbies, coffee-, waiting-, and lounge areas. By suspending several larger disc-like elements from the ceiling they become decorative functional objects that help improving your sonic well-being.

Project assistants: Nina Eder, Valerie Feiertag