Kirei, a provider of innovative eco-friendly design materials for commercial interiors, and its latest acoustic product, the Air Baffle, were honored in Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards for 2022 in both the Circular Design and Materials category.
The Innovation by Design Awards, which can be found in the October 2022 issue of Fast Company, honor the designers and businesses solving the most crucial problems of today and anticipating the pressing issues of tomorrow. The competition, now in its 11th year, features a range of blue-chip companies, emerging startups, and hungry young talents. It is one of the most sought-after design awards in the industry.
The Air Baffle is an innovative acoustic ceiling baffle that combines the acoustic performance of recycled PET felt with a soft filling made of recycled textile fluff from Nike Grind, a global sustainability program that helps transform manufacturing scrap and end-of-life shoes into recycled Nike Grind Materials. Designers can pivot spaces to a softer look and sound with the sleek curved baffles, which feature windows to view sustainable Nike Grind inspired by classic Nike Air Max air bubble windows.
“We created the Air Baffle with Nike Grind to be a step towards a more sustainable future by reducing waste and supporting a circular product life cycle with materials that would normally be sent to landfills. As a former Nike footwear designer, this project was particularly close to my heart, to find a new home for this material that took it out of the waste stream,” said Michael DiTullo, Creative Director of Kirei and the designer of Air Baffle. “We are thrilled and truly honored to be recognized by Fast Company for our innovative work in circular design and material usage with the Air Baffle and are excited to continue innovating for a better future.”
“A common theme among this year’s Innovation by Design honorees, which range from healthcare interfaces to autonomous driving technology, is permanence,” said Brendan Vaughan, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “The products that leaped out to our editors and judges went against our quick-fix consumer culture while also manifesting a more inclusive vision of design.”
Honorees for the 2022 awards were selected in the following categories: Accessible Design; Apps and Games; Automotive; Branding; Circular Design; Data Design; Design Company of the Year; Enterprise; Experience Design; Experimental; Fashion and Beauty; Finance; General Excellence; Graphic Design; Health; Home; Hospitality; Impact; Learning; Marketing; Materials; Packaging; Pandemic Response; Products; Rapid Response; Retail; Social Justice; Spaces and Places; Sports and Recreation; Students; Sustainability; Transportation; Urban Design; User Experience; Wellness; Workplace; Best Design Asia-Pacific; Best Design Europe, Middle East, and Africa; Best Design Latin America; Best Design North America; Years in Business (On the Rise: 0–4 Years, Established Excellence: 5–19 Years, Enduring Impact: 20+ Years); and Size of Business (Small Business: Fewer Than 100 Employees, Midsize Business: 100–999 Employees, Large Business: 1,000+ Employees). New categories included Accessible Design, Automotive, Circular Design, Enterprise, Experience Design, Hospitality, and Rapid Response.
The judges include renowned designers from a variety of disciplines, business leaders from some of the most innovative companies in the world, and Fast Company’s own writers and editors. Entries are judged on the key ingredients of innovation: functionality, originality, beauty, sustainability, user insight, cultural impact, and business impact.
Winners, finalists, and honorable mentions are featured online and in the October issue of Fast Company magazine, on newsstands September 27, 2022.
To see the complete list, go to https://www.fastcompany.com/innovation-by-design/list. For more information on Air Baffle by Kirei with Nike Grind, please visit
About Fast Company
Fast Company is the only media brand fully dedicated to the vital intersection of business, innovation, and design, engaging the most influential leaders, companies, and thinkers on the future of business. Headquartered in New York City, Fast Company is published by Mansueto Ventures LLC, along with our sister publication Inc., and can be found online at www.fastcompany.com.
Kirei designs and manufactures iconic architectural design elements that improve the acoustics and functionality of any room. Since 2002, the company has worked with interior designers, architects, contractors, and end-users across North America to help them create elegant, healthy spaces to live, work and play. Their products are easy to understand, specify and install, and are made from recycled materials. Kirei’s mission to “Inspire a Beautiful World” is seen through its commitment to sustainable materials and innovative design.