Creative Brief: Nomad System Felt

A glimpse of the design process behind the product By: Jaime Salm

Nomad System Felt was created to address some longstanding customer requests and market opportunities. Many of the people who love and use Nomad wanted a more durable solution that would be fit for commercial settings. Many also wanted a product that would be fire rated and acoustic to use it in more demanding environments. With Nomad Felt we added performance and beauty to an already great product.

The first challenge was to select a material that would have the right performance charateristics. During the development process of our FeltForms we identified several materials and processes that could be employed to make acoustical partitions. We evaluated several of them before selecting one that combined sustainable attributes with sound and fire resistance performance.

Once we had the material we began looking at the form as it related to the function. We have learned a lot from Nomad Felt’s sister cardboard product and we wanted to deliver a new level of performance and ease of use. We made the height exactly one foot for easy wall size calculation and we made the radiuses tighter to create a more subtle look to the modules and assemblies. We looked at several samples of formed parts for inspiration and found that having puffier sections in the module would deliver acoustic performance and a very distinct look to the parts.

Working together with our manufacturing partners we looked at several possible constructions of the module and built a prototype tool to test our ideas. Several sections of modules were molded for evaluation. These ranged in thickness as well as in process and technology. In the end we selected a process that would allow us to scale rapidly to service demand and maintain consistent quality.

During the finalization of the development we fine tuned the slots and molding details to ensure durability, part consistency and fit. The result is a module that is ASTM E84 Class A rated, acoustical, durable, beautiful and incredibly adaptable to any environment.