It is often more practical to subdivide larger rooms into separate, but interconnected areas. Therefore, room dividers can become a very attractive architectural solutions to create soft barriers, give a little bit of privacy, or provide a quieter spot for reading and working.
Screens, a subcategory of room dividers, are well suited for creating a small private area for oneself. There are countless options, but let us mention Eileen Gray's supremely elegant ‘Folding Screen’ by ClassiCon, Alvar Aalto’s curved, pinewood ‘Screen 100’, an icon of modernist design, manufactured by Artek to this day, and Charles and Ray Eames’s Vitra-produced ‘Folding Screen’.
Stephanie Forsythe and Todd MacAllen’s ‘kraft paper softwall’ and ‘tapered softwall, both produced by molo, are contemporary reinterpretation of the classic folding screen, utilising a cellular honeycomb paper construction. They can be laid down in any shape, creating visual and acoustic separation. Another innovative idea is Lisa Wacklin’s and Per Berglund’s ‘Moving Hedge’ room divider for Greenworks, a double-sided green wall, which supports 80 living plants.
Another way to divide a room is with an open bookshelf, which has the added benefit of providing extra storage space. Frits Haller’s and Paul Schärer’s ‘USM modular furniture Haller’ is a modular room divider with a somewhat industrial character, combining steel skeleton with engineered wood and glass, whereas Charlotte Perriand’s ‘518 Plurima’ for Cassina, is a robust, reduced wooden shelf. Pierro Lissoni’s contemporary ‘System NXT’ is sleek, modular shelving. On the other hand, ‘ENAM Shelf’ designed by Thomas Würthrich and Yves Raschle for INCHfurniture, is a wonderfully decorative and textured modular wooden room divider.
The last large category is that of ‘curtains’, or rather, room dividers that are suspended from above. The different approaches range from Marc Krusin’s tempered glass ‘Transmit’ for Glas Italia, Stefan Borselius’s ‘Airflake’ room divider for Abstracta, in which felt elements are joined together to form a hanging screen, the colourful ‘Gyseppe’, designed for KriskaDECOR® by Claire Davies, and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s ‘Algue’, manufactured by Vitra, in which small, branched-out algae-shaped elements are linked to create an organic, web-like room divider.