BRS4 Sound Design
Speaker sculptures solve acoustic problems.

Working with Fieldwork Design and Architecture, Parallel designed and built a speaker system with custom audio content for Nike’s lead design offices. Over 1000 speakers were suspended on thin cables, creating dynamic shapes that integrate into the existing ceiling structure. The widely dispersed speakers evenly fill the space with a masking treatment and specially composed sounds that play each day at noon. Building occupants are also able to use the system to playback music of their choice.

Masking is a specially developed solution that uses calibrated white noise to improve an acoustically problematic space. Introducing masking into an open office floor plan allows individuals to focus without the external distractions of a noisey work environment. Scientific studies show that treating work environments with masking increases productivity.

Parallel has furthered the effectiveness of this solution by developing a custom system that uses software and audio sensors throughout the 9000 square foot space. If a loud conversation is happening, the system reacts in realtime, increasing the masking sound in adjacent areas and thus reducing potential distractions for those nearby.

Using sound as a design element, Parallel created a series of different custom sounds that dramatically sweep across the space each day at noon. The noon sounds were designed to abstractly express concepts of motion and speed, connecting with Nike brand identity and the meaning of the site. This sonic gesture in not only relevant because it reminds employees of the midday hour, but also because it helps to create a sense of place - connecting people with the meaning of their environment through use of sound design.