Philips and Kvadrat Soft Cells collaborate to mitigate the problem of "acoustic smog" in public places.

Leon van de Pas thinks big. And fast. In 2010, during his first week on the job as general manager of Philips Lighting’s Large Luminous Surfaces venture, he set about evaluating the Lumalive division, which was developing wearables with integrated LED illumination. Within a few days van de Pas decided that Lumalive was not focused enough on the company’s core business—lighting.

He began investigating how Philips could use its LED and textile expertise in other ways. It took him one week to find a solution. Van de Pas discovered that Kvadrat Soft Cells was seeking a partner to integrate LEDs into its acoustic wall and ceiling panels. “The combination of textile, acoustics, and lighting gave him an insight into a wide range of fresh possibilities,” says Carolin Lukač, the division’s marketing communications manager. “In his third week, we built the first prototype of what was to become the Luminous textile panel.”

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