Tephra Formations by Robert Stadler



Austrian designer Robert Stadler has designed a range of furniture based on volcanic explosions.


The series, entitled Tephra Formations, includes seating, an armchair, pouf and low table.


Above: Triangular Bomb

The name 'Tephra' is derived from the Greek for 'ash', while 'bomb' is the term used for volcanic eruptions that emerge in a partially melted state.


Above: Spherical Bomb

The project is a continuation of an earlier work by Stadler called Pools & Pouf!, which was shown at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery in London as part of an exhibition called Bifurcations last year (see our previous story).


Above: Irregular Bomb

Photographs of the pieces are by David Brook; photographs of the construction process are by Studio RS.


Above: Trapezoid Bomb

Here's some text from Robert Stadler:


"Tephra Formations" appears as a continuation of the "Pools & Pouf!" ensemble but is yet a different story.


Even if the starting point can still be seen as a critique on traditional bourgeois values in furniture, it is rather representing an idea of mutation than dissolution.tephra-formations-by-robert-stadler-4.jpg

The word tephra derives from Greek and means ash. Volcanologists describe tephra as soft material of various sizes that hit the ground after having been ejected from a volcano.


"Tephra Formations" is a co-edition with Carpenter's Workshop Gallery.



Posted on Friday September 4th 2009 at 6:11 am by Sarah Housley. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • huh huh. not for me, sorry!

  • Indi

    Very cute use of the traditional chesterfield upholstery to avoid ugly seams and wrinkles on the shape. They look like they would fit in with almost any period or modern furniture.

  • modular

    Ive’ seen something like this before not so long ago. Can someone tell me where?

  • abdulqadirabas

    azlan likes it.Feels rich!

  • @ modular: maybe nelly&jean’s winston-donut? (http://www.nellyandjean.com/mainmenu.html)

    – which into my opinion is a bit stronger, especially when it comes to shape since this giant couch-mutant here is sort of melting away into every direction if you ask me… i like the side-tables, though.

  • I absolutely love the large sofa.
    Imagine spending a rainy day on it reading books, magazines and newspapers, while flipping around and changing position, sitting, lying etc

  • pj pooterhoots

    in your dreams modular? lolzzz

    love pj pooterhoots

  • certified gungstaaa

    would be better if it was lifted slightly off the ground. direct contact makes it look obese and extremely heavy. also you have dirt issues with material being in contact with the ground.

  • cplane

    my o my urbanizer,
    The nellyandjean winston donut would be one of the ugliest things i have ever seen. It is not in any way stronger than this piece. this piece is not so strong anyway.

  • My feeling for this furnitures like it’s made for a capricious person, who sometimes want to sit in this position and other times the other way round…

    After all, I love this collection!

    PS: it’s pretty, but I wonder if it’s handy to receive friends for an evening using these furnitures?

    Francois Beydoun

  • it’s a continuation of his previous work but with different storytelling .

  • modular

    Oops, my bad. I was thinking about other stuff also from Robert Stadler, hehe…

  • Morgan Geist

    Hello this is Morgan Geist,

    This project is over 6yrs old.
    I recall seeing it when I was an infant (see picture).


  • sluggo

    Levete/future systems is the originator of this sofa form as far as I know.
    Established & Sons is the manufacturer
    Link: http://www.designboom.com/snapshots/milano05/established.html

  • mil

    Looks more like wild strawberries than a volcanic explosions…….
    wrong marketing.

  • Hello Morgan Geist, lovely to see you again. \

    These are luxury goods….but I quite like them….the forms have evolved from the previous work, and I appreciate people who don’t rely just on novelty each time they have a new show – e.g. FRONT – don’t you wish they would just sit with the same idea for a few minutes?

  • designgurunyc

    it works…… dunno if I’ve seen it all before , and it is derivative of many things that are about, but all pieces are highly desirable and will work in hotel and office lobbies around the world. i especially like the ‘spherical bomb’ chair. Where are these going to be available from?

  • It’s so cool!

  • Morgan Geist

    Hello, This is Morgan,

    asdfghjkl, yes good to see you too. Been a while…
    Well, I very much agree with you about development and redevelopment and disregard for “WOW” factor each time a designer launches a new range/product. Absolutely with you there.

    However, you say “a few minutes” and although I know you dont literally mean a few minutes, even days, even months. 6yrs is a long time to simply change the shape of a design, post-rationalise the change and then re-release it.

    Personally I am charmed by this design, but feel like saying “someone by the name of Robert Stadler designed something identical six years ago”




    Great sofa for an orgy. Perfect for giving, receiving or just spectating although I’d be tempted to jazz up the colour. Maybe fiery red…

  • Chunkbutler

    Makes me feel like attacking it with a pickaxe and some power tools…..

  • one of the best ever designs seen!! but are they for sale? how much?

  • charles sound

    very similar in concept morethan shape to a established & sons. piece. long capitone sofa wich as playful not that complex but similar. anyway a bit 2. but great. cheers

  • charles sound

    also very similar to his won previous work, Bifurcations by Robert Stadler, wich i find in shape more elegant and easy.

  • also very similar to his previous work has won, by Robert Stadler bifurcations, which I find in a more elegant and easy.