Studio Maarten Kolk & Guus Kusters have created the Cloud Boxes, a series of storage boxes commissioned by PROOFFlab. The Cloud Boxes are made of semi-transparent latex, damping sound like adding a curtain to a space. Next to their acoustic quality, they also damp visual noise. The small, medium and large units are made to store office clutter.
The Studio said that: "Thinking about acoustics we realized quickly that silence wasn't our goal in this project. It isn't that bad to have sound around you when you're working. It starts to be disturbing when sound becomes noise. Taking away sound doesn't create silence; it just changes your definition of noise. We imagined our perfect solution should be like mist; a low-hanging cloud that doesn't make the world around you disappear, but takes the sharp edges off and makes everything a little softer."
In regards to the semi-transparency that creates a hazy and vague impression of the contents of the box, the Studio told us: "Every office has things they need to have, but don't want to see. It comes in every scale from the stapler to the vacuum cleaner. We thought it would be great if you could place all these kind of needs in an office cloud. Not hiding them, so you don't know where to find it anymore, but damping them by turning them into blurred silhouettes of color."
The Cloud Boxes do not contain any hinges or doors, but can be opened by stretching the latex. As soon as one releases the latex, the box will close itself again.
"We tried to leave the functionality of the boxes quite undefined. We made three different sizes according to the different scales of office clutter. All boxes can be opened from multiple sides, so people can play with the functionality of them. The large Cloud Box for example can be opened from four different sides. This gives one the opportunity to give each side a different function; one side could contain general office accessories, the next side binders of a specific employee, another side cleaning supplies and so on. The medium sized Cloud Box can be placed on a desk or in an existing cabinet fading your administration, calculator or desk lamp. And small version can contain small things like pens, phone charger or your personal stock of tea bags. The handle inside makes it easy to take with you if you don't have your own desk."