Paying attention to the five senses can help your visitors feel at home, whether you work in an office, run a café or have your own store. We asked architect, designer and photographer Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen to take us on a tour of Copenhagen spaces that get the experience just right.

SOUND

Danish textile maker Kvadrat has put a great deal of thought, time and research into finding a good balance when it comes to acoustics. Soft materials can dampen the clattery noise that often comes with a minimal and uncluttered space.
Mastering the art of shaping the sound in your space can help draw in your patrons whether you’re selling attire, displaying art or serving up refreshments. Tania Christensen, the PR manager at Danish textile maker Kvadrat, emphasizes the importance of differentiating between “sound” and “noise”: “Noise is by definition a distraction that is irritating and unwanted,” she says. “Sound is created with meaning and can enhance the perception of particular visual sets of information.” The goal is to limit noise while creating a harmony of desirable sounds such as conversation, music and natural ambience. Modern and minimal spaces can be beautiful but present challenges when creating a warm sound profile. “The trend is to be as minimalistic as possible with a lot of hard surfaces and open-plan spaces,” she says. “Although this aesthetic looks great, it creates a lot of acoustic problems as sounds keep vibrating and create noise, which makes it hard for people to concentrate and communicate.” Fortunately, there are simple ways that shops, galleries and offices can foster softer acoustics without sacrificing elegance. Textiles are highly effective for decreasing unwanted noise as they absorb echoes and other harsh or distracting dins: Try fabrics such as curtains, rugs, upholsteries or Soft Cells (Kvadrat’s textile panels). Playing soft music can also help to soften the harsh edges of footsteps and echoes. Balancing the acoustics is a powerful way to keep your customers calm and engaged. “Visual perception of space is on the conscious level, whereas the audible perception is almost entirely on the subconscious level, which is why it’s such a strong tool,” Tania says.

TEXT FROM KINFOLK