Under the spotlight: the art of modern design.
In the designer’s studio, the walls are covered in mood boards, photos, magazine cutouts, hand-drawn doodles of sofas and chairs, and elaborate floral patterns. When it comes to designing a sofa like our Mimi or any of the beautiful pieces that come from the workshop, Bertil, one of the designers looks all over for inspiration to help him come up with something completely fresh. “But,” he tells us, “a piece of furniture never ends up looking like the thing that inspired it.”
Bertil maps furniture trends, as well as colours, textures, and shapes across multiple industries and items. To begin with he starts with a paper sketch – because it’s “easier to tear up and start again” – his words, not ours. Next he draws up a computer-aided design (CAD) image, which is easy to fiddle with, allowing him to evolve his designs.
The CAD drawings are sent to a 3D printer in the studio. To print a small object, around 15 cm long, it can take up to 10 hours. But the time saved after the printing is what makes this process so valuable. Before 3D printers, designers had to work very closely with the production team, often building prototypes themselves after spending months iterating the design on paper. In those days, it might have taken a year to design a chair.
With a 3D model, Bertil can point out exactly where the seams of a fabric cover should sit, while the production team can anticipate any issues that they might have with the design’s construction. “A 3D model can’t show you how to construct a design though,” he tells us. “That’s where 14 years of design experience comes in.”
This very Mimi now sits in our headquarters in London, alongside the real thing of course.
Take a closer look at our mid-century style Mimi sofas, armchairs, footstools and pouffes.