Creation Baumann, the independent family-run business was founded in 1886, and has since established itself as a leader in innovative textiles. Given that Creation Baumann is celebrating 40 years of the esteemed Sinfonia fabric this year, CEO of the renowned company, Philippe Baumann, offers us some background to the reimagined textile and the birth of its extension, Sinfoniacoustics.
GDG: When did you reach a conclusion that it was time to create new and improved Sinfonia fabrics and why?
Philippe Baumann: The Sinfonia fabric was re-colored for the last time in 2010. We know by experience that after eight to ten years the colors in the interior design have changed in a way that we have to re-color our basic fabrics as well. At this occasion, we looked for ideas on how to improve the colors and the function of Sinfonia.
GDG: 64 new colors! What is that process like? On average how long would you say it takes to perfect a single color?
PB: We first had to think about the concept. We decided to go for a more systematic concept and to develop a color system for Sinfonia. After that, the design team started to create core colors. There, we take other existing fabrics or color samples as examples. The next step is to dye a lab-dip of every single color in our in-house lab. At this time, the range is still far too big. The last step is to select the colors and finalize the color range. The whole process takes around half a year.
(Above) Silent Acoustic
GDG: Where do you tend to see Sinfonia used the most – hospitals, hotels, offices or residential projects?
PB: The strength of Sinfonia is that it can be used in the residential as well as in the contract market. Within the contract market, we receive orders in all the fields from hotels to offices as well as in the health care market.
GDG: In what ways did the development of the new Sinfonia stretch the company?
PB: The main challenge was to develop a color system, which makes it easier for architects and interior designers to find the right color to furnish their rooms within all kinds of market segments and geographical markets.
GDG: Besides a color spectrum refresh, what is brand new about this staple and trusted product?
PB: Sinfonia has not been changed concerning the yarns and construction as after 40 years of continuous improvement it is on a very high level when it comes to quality. Our focus was the color and on a technological aspect the development of a Sinfonia version which has acoustical features.
Let me say a few words about the development of Sinfoniacoustic, which took us more than a year and a half. The biggest challenge was to integrate the acoustical function as discretely as possible into the fabric and to change the aesthetics and character of Sinfonia only as much as necessary. We are extremely happy with the result as Sinfoniacoustic comes very close to its original.
GDG: Turning to the Sinfoniacoustic, can you tell us where this want and need for a sound absorbent originated?
PB: We see demand for acoustical absorbent fabrics in several areas of interiors. Next to the residential market, mainly in the office market. The need for sound absorption in the residential interior design originates from the use of hard surfaces, which reflects the sound and as a result creates an unpleasant atmosphere. Open office spaces are another area for acoustical fabrics. It is obvious that the concentration at work is suffering in a noisy environment. Our acoustical fabrics are creating an improved work environment and are helpful for the health and motivation of employees.
GDG: Does Sinfoniacoustic respond at all to the open office and home plan trend requiring the need for room division and sound control?
PB: Sinfoniacoustic responds mainly to the need for a semi-transparent window covering fabric. The fact that Sinfoniacoustic still lets light into a room and at the same time has a six times better sound absorbent function makes it to a strong solution. For dividing rooms, Création Baumann has other solutions like Silent Light.
GDG: I see the calm, pastel color options for the transparent Sinfoniacoustic fabrics. Do you hope to broaden to bolder and brighter colors eventually or is this line meant to be more discrete and functional?
PB: As Sinfoniacoustic makes rooms calmer due to its function, we also chose a calm color palette. As a manufacturing company, we are very flexible to make customer-specific colors at a low minimum quantity if interior designers and architects demand it.
GDG: Given that Sinfoniacoustic branched from Sinfonia, is Sinfoniacoustic considered a more customizable or “level-up” option? Or are the two encouraged to be adopted in tandem in any space?
PB: Sinfonia is used every day for smaller and bigger projects, and many of these projects have rooms where there is a bad acoustical atmosphere. Therefore, our main goal was to be able to use both products together, and the combination of them makes a strong impression.
GDG: How do these new lines and improvements reflect or highlight Creation Baumann’s 40 years in the business? What does the next 40 look like?
PB: Création Baumann was founded in 1886 and has some more years than Sinfonia. Our vision is to improve the well-being of human beings in private and public spaces. Our goal is to be one of the most innovative suppliers of interior fabric solutions. We believe that with functions like the acoustical fabrics, we can support our vision and Création Baumann will continue to systematically research and look for new functions that can be integrated into fabrics.
See more of Sinfonia and Sinfoniacoustic, and shop Creation Baumann fabric at the PDC in Quintus, B519 and at the DDB, suite 1522. Visit their open house at DDB Spring Market Open House to see their new “Nature & Poems” Collection on display!