words Anna BatesThis sofa is an illusion. It looks like a pile of cushions. But Cushion Sofa, designed by Swedish design quartet Front for Italian brand Moroso, is actually a photo of a pile of cushions that has been stuffed with foam, turning it into a sort of "3D photo".
Why? "Because we consume design as an image," says Front member Sofia Lagerkvist. "Design is produced more as an image than it is in reality - objects you have never seen in real life you've seen so many times in magazines but never for real. We're interested in the part the image plays in the process of making the piece - for a long time the object will only exist as a computer generated image - this is how the designer communicates, what we show to the producer."
Ironically, the quartet had to make models of the piece instead of sending an image to ensure Moroso understood the concept. The sofa is one of a collection of pieces the designers just launched with Moroso at the Milan furniture fair. The heavily conceptual series follows several by the designers that take the issue of how we view and consume design as a starting point - but this is the first that has gone into production.
The collection risks being seen as an in-joke - only those devoted to design will be appreciate the concept - so it will be interesting to see how it is received.