A space of about one square meter (or a little under 11 square feet), furnished with a wooden tabletop, a bar stool, and outlets on the ceiling. These private “Phone Booths” from Mute Labs, with an aesthetic that winks at the past, have already been installed in numerous start-ups across Berlin. And as of this week, four of them are also available in select rooms at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. Donated by confluentes e.V., the school’s student-led consultancy group, the booths have been placed in four locations on the campus in Vallendar: the G building, the Zalando Lounge, the H building, and the computer lab. There, students, faculty, and staff will have access to a soundproof area to conduct calls or get work done away from noise and outside of the larger group working areas and lecture halls. “When somebody on campus has to conduct an important phone call, for example, it can be difficult to find a room that promises you won’t be disturbed,” says Jonathan Fischer, Chairman of confluentes.
Last October, the group, which reached a new record last of year of €2M in turnover, purchased two of the Phone Booths for its main offices on campus, and were impressed by the idea of having smaller, quiet “mini-offices” built into their larger space. confluentes acts as an interface between students and today’s active companies of all sizes—from start-ups to DAX-listed corporations—collaborates on over 160 projects yearly, and has earned a remarkable reputation. Their goal is to give students as much professional experience as possible. According to Jonathan Fischer, purchasing the booths, which cost roughly €4,500 each including installation fees, is a furtherance of that goal. “By doing so, we’re giving the campus some needed breakaway spaces,” he said, “and we hope the booths will be positively received and, above all, be put to good use!”