What is No Noise?
‘As we become increasingly bombarded with information and stimulation, the world is becoming a noisier place. In an initiative that goes beyond retail, we invite you to celebrate the power of quiet, see the beauty in function and find calm among the crowds.’ – NO NOISE
This temporary exhibition at Selfridges creates a space where shoppers can leave the noise and stress of the store for a beautifully plain room where they can sit and think. This idea was first opened in Selfridges in 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge himself. Now it has been brought back along with some new additions. The ‘No Noise’ principle has extended to de-branding popular items such as Heinz Ketchup, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion and Beats By Dre Studio Headphones. Another addition is various stations located throughout the store where the shopper can sit wearing headphone that block out noise.
On entering the Silence Room, which is located on the LG floor in the Ultra Lounge room, you are asked to remove your shoes, place your bags in a locker along with your phones, iPods, etc. Next your follow the room around where you enter the room designed by Alex Cochrane Architects. There is a series of simple sofa bed-like furniture circling the room, which are quite comfortable. Once you have a seat you just think, meditate or relax for along as you like.
Having tried the Silence Room I found it quite a strange experience as it is not often that you can be lost in your own thoughts in such a public space, I personally could not relax in the space but others could. As for the de-branded products, I am not convinced as all the de-branded items already have become so recognisable that they did not need their logo placed on the products.
The idea that we need to disconnect from the world around us and think deeply about what has happened in our day, how we will solve our issues, what we have and don’t have, etc. is important as it improves our creative thinking. So I am glad Selfridges has opened this exhibition, even if a few people can find the value in just sitting and thinking.