Acoustic ceiling baffles made from shoes and water bottles

Sustainable interior materials designer Kirei has launched the Air Baffle, an acoustic ceiling baffle made from recycled shoes and water bottles. The design was inspired by the Nike Air Max and combines the acoustic properties of recycled PET felt with a soft padding from Nike Grind, which is a blend of recycled materials made from discarded Nike footwear.

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Gray ceiling baffles overlooking an office room

These baffles have a window that allows you to see the durable filling. John Stein, president of Kira, said this is the company’s best performing and most durable product to date. By reducing waste and supporting a circular product life cycle, Kirei hopes to pioneer a more sustainable way to recycle foam and other products for reuse in high-end interior design.

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A gray ceiling deflector with a sneaker on top

Product designer Michael DiTullo created Kirei’s Air Baffle, drawing on over 20 years of experience creating iconic products for brands including Google, Honda and Converse. DiTullo contributed to footwear design, packaging direction, advertising campaigns and brand positioning for Nike before becoming creative director at Kirei in 2019. This unique experience in acoustics and footwear led to an unprecedented approach to acoustic foam for a purpose different.

Green ceiling baffle above a reception area where a woman is sitting

“In my career, I’ve worked on hundreds of shoes for Nike, Jordan, Converse and other brands,” DiTullo said. “It was a real joy to create a product that helps save those shoes from the landfill at the end of their useful life as footwear and to find a new long-term use case for them as an acoustically impressive architectural product visual.”

Three green ceiling deflectors

As a result, the Air Baffle is made from 12-millimeter EchoPanel and can come fully closed or with a window to peek into the contents. The windows are made with class A flame retardant PETG, a copolyester resin, GREENGUARD certified for indoor air quality. Each baffle contains 40% pre-consumer recycled content and is 100% recyclable, eligible for LEED MR Credit 4 and IEQ Credit 8/1 and 8.2 (daylight and views).

A gray ceiling deflector with a sneaker in front

Install the baffles using suspension cables and mounting hardware with no other assembly required. EchoPanel has a low VOC and is made from non-Red List materials, made from 60% recycled PET, which diverts 235 single-use plastic bottles from landfills and the ocean. Woven Image has been designing this plastic from recycled bottles since 2004. Since then, the company has saved over 5,505 tons of PET plastic or 275 million plastic bottles from landfill. Nike has recycled 130 million pounds of Nike Grind filler for partners since 1992.

+ Kira

Images via Kirei

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