What does the design process look like – since you both work in different countries?
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.
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.
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
Could you give us a bit of an insight into the details of the sofa. What can people expect?
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.
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.