How a caravan awning inspired an innovative acoustic system

Seeking to expand the world of acoustic baffles with a solution that offers a high level of acoustic absorption, sleek modern design, and endless iterations, the Autex team created Frontier Acoustic Raft. A multifaceted approach to interior acoustic solutions, Raft was developed to cover all bases: broadband acoustic absorption, modern aesthetics, sustainability, and simple functionality.

“The acoustic performance is great, and there is still plenty of scope to innovate further and use the channel interface in different ways”

Solid in appearance, yet hollow in the centre, the geometric, 3D, acoustic system is designed to be suspended from the ceiling, or fixed to the wall. Due to its modular nature, Raft can be ‘tuned’ to a space by adjusting the distance between the beams and the ceiling, allowing problem frequencies to be targeted and absorbed.

Raft’s geometric shapes are designed with both aesthetics and acoustic performance in mind. Made from compressed, needle-punched, 100% polyester fibre, the compact outer shell absorbs higher frequencies, while the combination of the air within the hollow centre, and the three-dimensional form, effectively absorbs lower frequencies.

Unlike other acoustic baffle systems, Raft is designed to communicate with the building and the space it lives within. Modular in nature, the unique channel and clip system allows for complete control over the application of each individual component—giving architects, designers, and installers the freedom to mould the system to the contours and requirements of the space.

Speaking of the inspiration for the system, designer Luke Walker explains, “I’d always appreciated the way that an awning attaches to a caravan, kinda like a ziplock bag. We had initially imagined the baffle to fold up and fit into two parallel extrusions, but it was considering the caravan that led to the idea of the raft channel”. This system is the backbone of the raft structure, supporting both the present form and the future of the product lifecycle by offering opportunities for endless design iterations.

This marriage of contemporary design language with forward-thinking acoustic engineering has not only lead to the development of Raft, but opened up opportunities for the design team to apply the system in future projects. “The acoustic performance is great, and there is still plenty of scope to innovate further and use the channel interface in different ways”, Walker says.