Keele University in Staffordshire has undergone the UK’s first TK-Team HushPod installation, which has taken place in the institution’s library.
Supplied by Pure AV, the six-seater workspace is customised with the photography of Keele University’s PC systems support manager, Chris McEvoy and brings students and staff a new space to work away from the noise of the surrounding environment.
Situated in a lively space in the middle of the library IT area, it was the acoustic properties of the HushPod that first caught the attention of the team at Keele University.
McEvoy explained: “Students are increasingly interested in working in groups and on collaborative projects, once we saw the HushPod and realised its acoustic properties, we thought it would be perfect for this space.”
The HushPod provides comfortable seating for up to six people, and its opposing walls and ceiling are lined with TK-Team’s acoustic control panels. The addition by the University of a 32in screen with connection plate, power and USB charging to the rear wall of the pod further enhances the work area and opens up the usage of the space to a wider variety of small group activity.
The acoustic control panels that line the pod significantly reduce the level of background noise, and the voices of those within the pod are heard clearly. “Entering the space, you notice an immediate difference in noise level,” added McEvoy. “The acoustic panels reduce the background noise and allow discussions to take place at a normal conversational level. Nobody has to raise their voice and even softly spoken people can be clearly heard.”
In addition to becoming a bookable space for group work, the HushPod also provides the IT service desk with an area for one-to-one support or small group training. “The support team is essentially working in an open plan office, in busy times this can mean working with four students at the same time with the potential for a queue forming at the desk,” explained Jamie Girvin, graduate assistant, IT services. “This situation can make things feel quite rushed. The HushPod provides the ideal solution for when we need to step aside and support students that require that little bit of extra help.”
Chris McEvoy concluded: “The ability to enter the HushPod and work productively without distraction from external noise makes it a great addition to this busy section of the library. We love that students can come in here use the PC facilities and then easily break-out into working groups without having to search elsewhere for a suitably quiet environment. The HushPod has allowed the University to turn an under-utilised area within the library into a productive space that supports the delivery of IT services and offers students a well-located area for collaborative working.”