Why Room Dividers are the Ideal Tool to Help Open Environments Adapt



Room Dividers Are Designed with Flexibility in Mind



Open plan layouts have drastically increased in popularity over the past 50 years due to a shift in the way most people live nowadays. If you step into a traditional home built during the Victorian era, you are likely to find a maze of rooms. Living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and toilets, all interlinked by winding hallways. Nowadays, the only privacy in the home seems to be in bedrooms and bathrooms, with living areas often combined into an open space. This trend has since seeped into office designs as the nature of work also continues to develop.

Rather than sitting individually at a desk all day, tasks often call for the contribution of multiple minds. Therefore, this requires areas which are able to adapt to create comfortable environments for employees. Where offices are in stark contrast to the home, though, is the issue of privacy. While at home there may only be a few people, offices tend to hold at least ten individuals and often much more. This raises serious issues with audible and visual interruptions which can damage the momentum of the business. This is where room dividers enter the fray.



Room Dividers Have Well Established Origins



Room dividers have been around for well over a thousand years, however, their purpose is becoming relevant once again. Nobody knows who invented the initial divider, however, evidence suggests the first example was around in China, approximately 600AD. Originally named the Byōbu, this initial design was reserved for the elites of society and often featured in temples, shrines and palaces. Around this period, the common architectural structure featured many open rooms which were designed to allow cool air to flow through. As a direct result, these traditional room dividers were created to block the wind as well as create privacy for the occupants.

The framework was constructed using wood, whilst the main panel was crafted using silks and leather which was often painted, featuring natural scenes and common sights at the time. Each divider was hand-crafted and a few select craftsmen continue to create them in Japan today. As Europe tends to be significantly colder throughout the year, it was not until Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch traders travelled to the area that the design began to be popularised around the world. However, while architectural designs have remained similar in the east, western nations moved towards greater division in the home. Designated rooms for family eating, entertaining and so on meant that open plan was rarely considered and as a result, room dividers became a rare sight.

However, a shift in values in recent years has seen the re-emergence of this open design. The concepts of family spaces and collaborative areas have quite literally knocked down the walls in modern design. With that in mind, room dividers are once again being popularised as a useful tool to create privacy and to enhance open plan layouts.


Room Dividers
Byobu – Credit Peter Roan


Room Dividers in a Contemporary Setting



Both in the home and at the office, room dividers excel in dividing the space and reducing the number of distractions. They may not be hand-crafted anymore, however, each can be made bespoke to the customer’s requirements. Modern incarnations can be manufactured with fabrics, Perspex, anti-bacterial faux-leather and even printed panels. Due to this, there are a huge number of ways to customise the dividers to enhance the environment. Traditional silks and genuine leathers may provide an ornate finish, but modern designs integrate a great deal more in terms of practicality.

For example, printed room dividers are excellent for incorporating branding, information or simply a scenic landscape into any office environment. In the home, any image or graphic design can be incorporated to add to the room. All the printed room dividers created here at Go Displays are printed using state of the art technology. Incorporating this with high-quality inks and pigments guarantees a rich and vivid finish. The result you should be hoping to achieve is room dividers which will last, enabling your office or home to adapt over several years.

In terms of other options, one of the benefits of modern room dividers is the potential to tailor the order to the individual. Fabric can be remarkably deceptive here as it is possible to integrate acoustic foam into each panel. This is ideal for office environments to not only divide the space but reduce audible distractions in the process. Alternatively, the option of anti-bacterial room dividers is excellent for schools, hospitals and clinics, where they can effectively prevent the spread of nasty bacteria.



Exploring the Potential of Room Dividers



What made room dividers so effective over 1400 years ago, still applies today. They provide flexibility and portability, so even for small spaces, room dividers can still be just as effective. Furthermore, modern designs now include wheeled feet, allowing them to be conveniently moved when space is required. These concepts are able to apply both in the home as well as at work, it is simply a case of finding a manufacturer to produce the ideal solution.

It’s understandable that not every homeowner or business has the resources to commit to a professional interior designer. The open plan layout is here to stay, although we must find solutions which address its core issues. Room dividers may not be suitable for large estates with acres of space. But when that space is limited, they excel at dividing the area whilst providing privacy for the occupants. This enhances the open plan layout by reducing distractions and maintaining a positive atmosphere.


Room Dividers
Modern Room Dividers


At Go Displays, we have been manufacturing room dividers and office screens for well over a decade. We have worked with a diverse range of settings to address issues with the open plan layout. Every product is made bespoke, so we are always happy to provide expert advice. For more information, please call us on 01733 232000 or send an e-mail to [email protected]

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