Furniture design

Abstracta is improving workspaces with its wellness-inspired acoustic panels

Better acoustics, better wellbeing—that’s the idea behind Swedish brand Abstracta and its latest collection, Vika, designed by Khodi Feiz. We spoke to Feiz to understand how the duo are working to transform workspaces.

Dedicated to enhancing workplace environments through innovative acoustic solutions, Abstracta has one mission—to boost productivity and foster a positive working environment. This year, the brand expands its repertoire with an array of new offerings, ranging from lighting fixtures to informal seating arrangements, including the Vika collection by industrial designer Khodi Feiz which will be exhibited on the occasion of Milan Design Week.

With a focus on improving soundscapes, these additions cater to the growing demand for environments that promote both concentration and comfort. A recent survey examining the needs and expectations of Swedish office workers revealed a significant dissatisfaction with the lack of secluded areas for concentrated tasks. In fact, a quarter of respondents expressed frustration over the absence of such spaces.

Vika collection by Khodi Feiz for Abstracta
Vika collection by Khodi Feiz – © Abstracta

This is where Abstracta comes in, aiming to address this gap by introducing a range of innovative products tailored to meet these evolving needs. In collaboration with designer Khodi Feiz, the Swedish brand has taken a new approach to acoustic lighting — one that aims to create a peaceful atmosphere. 

The result is Vika collection, a sculptural floor and ceiling screen that creates atmospheric light while managing both low-frequency and high-frequency noise, which Abstracta will exhibit at Salone del Mobile during the upcoming Milan Design Week. 

“It’s another way of thinking about sound and light. Vika collection’s function is to create a calm atmosphere,” says Khodi Feiz who brings his unique design approach to the Abstracta on this occasion. Feiz is known for his signature style: organic, yet refreshingly simple; tactile, yet distinctly human. His creations exude a friendly allure, compelling enough to catch your gaze and tempt you to run your fingers along their surfaces, much like Vika has the potential to add a dynamic touch to any workspace. 

Vika collection by Khodi Feiz – © Abstracta

Feiz has a diverse portfolio that spans from furniture and acoustic products to home electronics and other everyday household items. Vika marks his debut collaboration with Abstracta, demonstrating his creative genius, which also extends to partnerships with renowned brands like Alessi, Logitech, Philips, Artifort, and Swedese. 

Available both as a ceiling-suspended acoustic luminaire and a floor screen with luminaire, at its core, Vika is simple in its design—two interlocking elements created from sound-absorbing PET felt are skillfully folded to resemble a wing. This distinctive arrangement not only traps and reduces sound but also hides the screen’s light origin, which creates indirect illumination on both sides.

“The colour of the panels determines the ambient hue they emit,” explains Feiz. “A neutral light grey felt or a warm camel felt colouring creates entirely different lighting atmospheres.”

Vika collection by Khodi Feiz for Abstracta
Vika collection by Khodi Feiz – © Abstracta

“Essentially, the PET felt boasts high sound absorption qualities,” he adds. “What Vika accomplishes through its design is not only to leverage the material’s properties but also to allow sound waves to break and become trapped within the undulations of the two folded elements.”

This results in excellent sound absorption, with the single element suitable for smaller spaces and the larger element suited for larger areas: “I wanted to create an object that had a monolithic, iconic presence while embracing extreme simplicity in its design,” says Feiz.

“As for the materials chosen, my intention was to select a lightweight and flexible material that is soft to the touch and emanates warmth. The PET felt material not only meets these criteria but also aligns with sustainability principles, being both recycled and recyclable, while offering highly tactile experience.”

Vika collection underscores both Feiz’s and Abstracta’s commitment to sustainability, incorporating a sound-absorbing core made partially from recycled PET bottles. These panels are wrapped in Texfel acoustic felt and secured to a framework of powder-coated, recyclable steel.

Vika collection by Khodi Feiz – © Abstracta

When placed in groups, it serves to not only delineate space but also enriches the acoustic environment of open-plan settings: “Its capacity to establish boundaries, foster privacy, and contribute to the overall atmosphere of workspaces presents a significant advantage for architects,” says Feiz. “Furthermore, the pendant version provides direct illumination onto work surfaces while simultaneously improving the acoustic environment.”

In collaborative, work, social, or meeting settings, Vika collection has the ability to redefine spaces. Its high flexibility allows for easy adaptation to changing needs, whether they arise from collaborative efforts, individual work tasks, social gatherings, or meetings.

On the collaboration with Abstracta, Feiz said: “Once the idea was conceived, the collaborative spirit between the Abstracta development team and ours flowed seamlessly,” he says. “Our commitment to preserving the original vision and Abstracta’s drive to create a highly functional product complemented each other perfectly, culminating in the creation of a unique and superior product.”

Vika collection by Khodi Feiz for Abstracta
Vika collection by Khodi Feiz – © Abstracta

“The biggest challenge was designing an internal structure capable of supporting both the internal light source and securing the wing-like panels in place, all while maintaining structural integrity and allowing light to pass through unhindered,” he says. “I must admit, the outcome not only functions admirably but also showcases a remarkably elegant solution.”

In the evolving landscape of modern workplaces, the significance of thoughtful design cannot be overstated. With the prevalence of open floor plans, businesses are confronted with challenges related to noise control and privacy. To counteract these issues, companies are increasingly turning to innovative solutions such as sound masking systems, acoustic panels, acoustic spray, and acoustic furniture. 

Recognizing the pivotal role of design in addressing these concerns, we asked Feiz what his thoughts were on the importance of acoustic elements in contemporary workspaces: “It’s crucial to pivot the focus towards the softer aspects of work,” he emphasises. “This entails addressing ephemeral concerns like noise pollution, adequate lighting, and the cultivation of atmosphere and ambiance, which will increasingly shape our work environments.”

Vika collection by Khodi Feiz – © Abstracta

“I believe that workplaces are increasingly recognizing the advantageous aspects of acoustic design. I foresee a trend where products utilised in this setting will evolve into hybrids, integrating the more abstract elements of light, sound, ambiance, and well-being. The aim is to create spaces that mirror the comfort and warmth found in our homes.”

Since its establishment in 1972, Abstracta has become a trailblazer in the realm of enhanced soundscapes, offering a comprehensive range of solutions tailored to diverse environments. The company boasts ingeniously crafted sound-absorbent screens and surfaces, along with innovative furniture integrating acoustic properties seamlessly. 

Vika collection by Khodi Feiz for Abstracta
Vika collection by Khodi Feiz – © Abstracta

With manufacturing based in Småland, Sweden, Abstracta caters to a global clientele, maintaining its position as a vital component of the esteemed Lammhults Design Group. Through collaborative ventures with contemporary designers like Khodi Feiz, the company consistently explores novel approaches to refining soundscapes. 


Open full width