Acoustic design for differences and brain work

Paige Hodsman of Ecophon kicked off the speech


Smart Workspace Design Summit took place in Amsterdam October 4-5 (2018) and participants from all walks of the workplace trade joined in as to share and acquire related knowledge. A more holistic blogpost about this event was already posted and can be read here: Link

Below are more details regarding one of the two Ecophon speeches being related to sound and acoustics and how sound affect people. The other one is here: link


Designing for Differences: Neurophysiological Factors and Office Acoustics

Paige Hodsman of Ecophon and Tania Barney of Tania Barney consulting, presented: Designing for Differences: Neurophysiological Factors and Office Acoustics at the Smart Working Design Summit in Amsterdam on October 4th.

It is well understood that office noise can be a significant problem for knowledge workers, particularly in open plan environments. Auditory distractions have an impact on performance, health, well-being and overall workplace satisfaction with a significant cost to business.

Paige Hodsman of Ecophon highlighted previous work


Paige and Tania explained more about their literature review findings. Individuals are known to differ in their sensitivity to all of the senses (there are 7), including the auditory sense. To date, much of the research and development in workplace psychoacoustics has focused on individual psychological factors. Understanding of individual neurophysiology and the implications for office noise remain largely unexplored.

Tania Barney took us inside the brain


In 2018, a literature review was conducted exploring neurophysiological differences in sensory processing and the implications this has for the workplace, including office design. Key points from the literature review were presented, including:

  • Background to this literature review and existing research in psychoacoustics
  • Understanding Neurophysiology and Sensory Processing
  • Understanding neurophysiology in the office environment
  • Organisational and design implications
  • Proposed future research
Tania Barney explained thresholds


The topic proved quite popular at the conference, with lots of questions and interaction from the audience.

If you would like to know more, please contact Paige Hodsman


Tania Barney highlighted design implications


Speakers were liked and took part in a special panel discussion



Office 102

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