Open plan offices are all the rage at the moment. They encourage 'collaboration', 'mind-melding' and other such horrific buzzwords.
Whether they work or not, there is one inescapable truth about them which is that they're not quiet.
It's the reason that Google has telephone boxes in its offices and Facebook has a giant garden on the top of its own head office (which just so happens to be one of the largest open plan offices in the world).
For the rest of us though, design company Vivero might have just found an odd, but brilliant solution.
It's called the Tomako and while it looks like an elaborate lampshade it's actually an 'acoustic shelter' designed to cut out much of the outside world's noise and instead let you focus on what you're doing.
As Vivero points out on their website:
Tomoko helps you to create an immediate territory of your own by eliminating elements that interfere with your concentration, such as noise or visual distractions. At the same time, it signals to others that you are not to be disturbed.
It's certainly the most organic way of removing the outside world we've seen with many companies suggesting that their own noise-cancelling headphones are the better solution.
It's true enough that there are plenty of headphones and apps out there that claim to offer an escape from your current surroundings but if we're honest Tomako is definitely one of the more original ideas we've seen recently.
In case you're wondering how much one of these will set you back the website officially states that it's price on request, naturally we've requested and as soon as we have a figure we'll update the piece.
It's hard to imagine, based on the rest of the site, that this is going to be the cheapest solution but at least Vivaro have said that if peace and quiet isn't your thing they'll turn it into a light.