The Smart segment at IMM Cologne highlights how mass production of top-of-the-line designs makes stylish furniture accessible at affordable prices. For several years, Danish company Interstil—a subsidiary of Actona Company—has provided the cost-conscious with Scandinavian style seats and tables. This year in IMM’s Smart hall, Interstil unveiled the company’s first sofa: the ITS.
ArchiExpo e-Magazine spoke with designer Anders Nørgaard about affordable design and the evolving role of the sofa.
ArchiExpo e-Magazine: How do you design furniture that costs less to produce?
Anders Nørgaard: You need to know about production. If you design the right way specific to production in a particular plant, you can get more affordable prices then if you ask them to use unknown materials or unknown ways to produce. You can design in the price level you want while keeping quality and nice details.
ArchiExpo e-Magazine: Where is Interstil’s ITS sofa produced?
Nørgaard: It is manufactured in Ukraine. I visited the factory and made an analysis of their production to see how to construct this sofa. It was the first time working with them, but I have a lot of knowledge in upholstery after working with it for more than 30 years.
ArchiExpo e-Magazine: What materials do you use?
Nørgaard: We are working in steel construction combined with plywood for the structure and solid wood while working on different ways to design the cushions for different sitting comforts. They’re stuffed with siliconized fiber balls in combined foams, but the construction of the pillows is a secret.
ArchiExpo e-Magazine: What is the ITS concept?
Nørgaard: Simple lines, distinctive sewing details and craftsmanship. Our theme is ‘You don’t sit on the sofa, you sit in the sofa.’ The cushions support your body, which is very important in making sofas because people spend many hours there. They eat in the sofa, watch television in the sofa, sleep in the sofa. Especially the young ones use the sofa for a lot of things besides sitting. The sofa has become the most important furniture in the home.
ArchiExpo e-Magazine: Do we use the sofa differently today than in the past?
Nørgaard: Yes. My mother who is almost 90 sits on the edge of the sofa. Younger generations are laying in it. I have a 90/10 rule. 10% of the time you’re sitting decently on the sofa drinking tea or talking to your mother-in-law. 90% you are lounging in the sofa.
ArchiExpo e-Magazine: What models are in Cologne?
Nørgaard: There are 4 or 5 models of modular sofas so people can build something that fits into their homes. This series also has some sofas in traditional measurements like a 2 seater and 3 seater.