Bits Bench by Fulo 11.08.11

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Gothenburg-based designers Olof Nordenson and Ulf Jevin like to experiment with the unexpected. The young Swedes, whose partnership is known as Fulo, have created Bits Bench, a padded seat covered with a scaly surface of triangular wooden tiles. Jevin says that its apparently tough exterior belies a gentler sitting experience: "It looks quite hard and uncomfortable to use, and then when you sit on it, it's soft. It gives you a totally different idea of what it is."

Two pieces of thin birch plywood make up each tile, with layers of fabric sandwiched in between. The pieces are then tessellated to form the bench's unusual upholstery and it is padded underneath with normal stuffing. The material treatment emerged from Nordenson's thesis on changing surfaces, prepared while studying at the HDK School of Design and Crafts at Gothenburg University. "It's about objects that change with interaction between the user and the product," says Jevin.

Soon after its launch at Stockholm Furniture Fair in February, curiosity about Bits Bench was catching. "People had been hearing about it and they wanted to try it out," says Jevin. "And that's exactly what we wanted – for people not just to look at it but experience it beyond the visual effect."

Too short to be a chaise longue, and with a moveable bolster for different seating positions, the bench defies any standard furniture categorisation. "It started as just a bench but then we gave it a little pillow," says Jevin. "It's always fun to give it some extra piece to start a discussion of what it could be, how it could be used."

Bits Bench will also be appearing in Milan at Salone Satellite, and Fulo is busy expanding the range to attract more attention on the bigger stage. "There'll be other seating made in the same way but we'll be transferring the idea to our products in a more graphic way, too," says Jevin. A cupboard that recreates the bench's geometric pattern in traditional lead and stained glass sounds like a particularly interesting piece to look out for, although with Fulo, you can never be too sure of what you're going to get.

 

Image

Fulo

 

Words

Riya Patel

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It's about objects that change with interaction between the user and the product

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