Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – It’s a common complaint by many Australian diners:  restaurants are just too noisy. And while restaurant owners appear to be in no rush to fix the problem, architects are.

A crop of Australian designers designed a ‘sound makeover’ for their favourite restaurant as part of a campaign to highlight the importance of great restaurant acoustics.

The winner of the Dine Hear campaign, launched by world leader in acoustic linings, Knauf, was announced today. Phoebe Baker-Gabb of Melbourne’s Foolscap Studio is the inaugural Knauf Dine Hear Acoustic Designer 2013, winning a $5,000 prize.

Foolscap Studio’s makeover concept for the Golden Fields restaurant in Melbourne’s St. Kilda addressed a problem common to many modern restaurants.

“The restaurant space is clad with hard, smooth materials,” Baker-Gabb says. “These surfaces cause sound to reverberate around the narrow space making it difficult for diners to hear one another and negatively affecting their experience.”

To solve that problem, their design concept works with Golden Fields’ beautiful aesthetics to create a stylistic and “fractured” acoustic ceiling that could add ‘great sound’ to the restaurant’s list of praises.

The rise of minimalist décor and restaurants owners chasing the elusive “humming” ambience means that Australian restaurants are getting noisier. Research shows that this not only adversely affects the customer experience, but also our taste as well.

The Dine Hear campaign shone a light on the issue, and the strong response from designers and architects suggests it isn’t just Knauf that’s well aware of the importance of great sound. 

“Imagine having to yell at your date across the table because it’s the only way they can hear you, or ordering the vegetarian risotto and they bring you out the beef instead?” says Stephanie Olsen, Knauf’s Senior Product Manager.

“With that in mind, the Dine Hear campaign is about improving the acoustics of great Australian restaurants. Does great sound matter? Yes!” Olsen says.
View Foolscap Studio’s submission here: www.dinehear.com.au

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