Pillar Talk

In conversation with Faudet-Harrison

We catch up with long-standing SCP collaborators Jochem Faudet and Jon Harrison, who work together as Faudet-Harrison to discuss their latest SCP design, the Pillar sofa.

The Pillar sofa is a design made for relaxing and lengthy lounging. Fully upholstered to the floor, it has a continuous seam detail that lends it an organic look.

Faudet-Harrison are long standing SCP collaborators and their understanding of the complexities of upholstery making, has allowed them to create a design of great comfort, flexible enough in concept to be appropriate in domestic, commercial or public settings. Pillar is available in Uniform Melange fabric, a specially elasticated stretch fabric from Kvadrat.

Going into this project with SCP, you had extensive experience of the landscape of the company. So I’m interested to know, what the starting point was for Pillar and did you take a different or new approach?

Jon Harrison:

We gave ourselves two starting points when we began the project. One was modularity, or options would be another way of saying it. We wanted to create a system, where it would be easy to reconfigure the sofa for different situations. I suppose we started with a more professional market in mind, but while working on it, we felt that it could easily lend itself to domestic environments. That’s where the lines in the design came from, the division created by the stitch line means you can add on components, whether they are footstools, extensions or chaise lounges, and it is not so evident, even though you know there is a join there, the detail becomes a functional.

What does the design process look like – since you both work in different countries?

Jochem Faudet:

I think it is a mix of different processes. We start off with conversations, about things we like and what we want it to be. The sofas we have previously designed for SCP are very light, high on their legs, and this sofa is totally different. I think the starting point was about comfort, and trying to make it look comfortable, as well as feel comfortable. Our other pieces look more formal, although they are comfortable, this piece actually looks very inviting. That was important, to both look and feel comfortable. In terms of designing, it’s all about the tools that you are comfortable with. I am very comfortable making computer drawings, whereas my sketches are a bit messy. I do sketch, but perhaps my sketches aren’t convincing to a client, whereas Jon’s sketches more convincingly. I use the computer drawings to work out the shape and tweak the design.

Jon Harrison:

I think that’s where we work together well, because of our complimentary skills. We also like to use imagery, to get an impression of what we are trying to achieve. That’s not necessarily about showing other existing objects. Upholstery is actually quite hard to visualise, especially in computer drawings where it’s difficult to convey comfort, it may look too rigid or formal. I think this is the third piece of upholstery we have done for SCP. I suppose what we have learnt over the years is the importance of the frame underneath, and understanding what is and isn’t possible with the frame. We’re still very much relying on Tim Cox and his team at the upholstery factory to resolve it, but our developed knowledge has helped us move forwards with this design.

Jochem Faudet:

It’s also finding the balance between trying to push upholsterers at the factory and understanding what is actually possible. Of course we want to do something new and different from what SCP already has, and this kind of conversation between both Jon and I, and the factory helps us push the boundaries

Jochem Faudet (centre) and Jon Harrison (right) peer at the window display at SCP Curtain Road in 2019.

Could you give us a bit of an insight into the details of the sofa. What can people expect?

Jochem Faudet:

I think it is a sofa that is slightly deeper, it’s a kind of design that you almost climb into, it’s very comfortable. I am sitting on it here, I have one of the first prototypes, so I have been living with it since October. It’s a family sofa, you can sit on it with your kids. I shouldn’t say this but they really love to jump on it because it’s so bouncy. It’s great to watch them either play or take a nap on it. It’s a generous, super bouncy sofa.

Jon Harrison:

As we said from the beginning, it was the comfort that we were really interested in and we are really chuffed with it. We worked closely with Tim Cox, to get the density right, and the comfort and angles. Really, I don’t think we could have expected any more from the comfort. We are not the first designers to use this detail of the stitch line, but actually getting that right has been very difficult. The traditional way of doing this stitch is very expensive to do, so we had to work with SCP to develop a more cost-effective and contemporary way of achieving it.

We are very interested to see how this design develops and what configurations it will be specified in. Thanks to both Jochem and Jon for taking the time to talk.

See the Pillar at the SCP store.

Faudet-Harrison for SCP