Stakeholders: Communication and Interior design team at IKEA Core Business Franchise, Co-workers at the IKEA Delft office, TU Delft

Project brief

Since the transition to an open-plan office in 2016, the Communication and Interior design (Com&In) team started to receive complaints from co-workers about nuisance within the office. This project focused on creating an overview of the experiences of co-workers and empowering the Com&In team to tackle the various sources and decrease co-workers’ experience of nuisance in general.

My activities

User interviews / Contextmapping / Co-creation / Research communication

Experiences of nuisance in the office

Co-workers identified six main sources of nuisance. They also identified factors related to the presence of sources and general ability to deal with nuisance, showing two ways to decrease their experiences of nuisance in the office.

Tackling nuisance within the office

The diversity in sources and experiences meant that the amount of nuisance co-workers experience could be decreased most effectively by interventions that would improve their ability to deal with nuisance

Design goal

Create a fridfull/serene individual workspace for employees by decreasing nuisance from co-workers

Together with the Com&In team I decided to develop a design, that would further empower them to tackle nuisance from co-worker conversation and interruptions at individual deskspaces. With the aim to make individual workspaces better suited for focused work

Lowering the stimulation and perception of nuisance through


Fridfold is a foldable desk screen that helps co-workers to close themselves of during focused work

The design aims to decrease both the amount and perception of stimulation. Where the three-dimensional texture of the screen and interactivity, should enhance the perceived sound damping of the felt screen. This effect was measured through user testing with a full-scale working prototype.

My activities

Design conceptualisation / Interaction prototyping / Usability testing / Design presentation

Making co-workers feel relief at their desk

The interaction with the screen and applied materials are developed to make co-workers feel calmer at their deskspace. For this I relied on an interaction and material experience vision. Where for instance the material qualities, for instance the quality of ‘protective’ is found to be associated with the application of three-dimensional textured surfaces

Impact & learnings

The Com&În team has indicated that the research insights, helped them to understand the context better. Based on this they intended to start projects to tackle these sources. Furthermore, they were very enthusiastic about the workshops and wanted to learn how they could implement these themselves. Due to COVID-19, however, co-workers started to work from home, which meant that the development of Fridfold was put on hold.