Dezeen Magazine

Hella Jongerius for Vitra

Milan update: Hella Jongerius presented a new two-seater version of her Worker chair for Vitra, plus a leather version of her Polder sofa.


Both products, which were shown at Salone in Milan last week, were initially launched to great acclaim last year and were the esteemed industrial designer's first furniture design commissions.


Worker Sofa is an update of the Worker Chair but with two seats joined side by side.

Descriptions from Vitra follow:


The Worker Sofa, 2007, Hella Jongerius

Hella Jongerius' ability to observe and interpret the way people live in today's world – analysing contemporary needs with great precision and responding with thoughtful, meaningful objects – is clearly manifested in her latest product for Vitra, The Worker Sofa.


This two-seater, which in formal terms is a double version of the homonymous chair that was introduced last year, is first and foremost a communicative piece of furniture. Jongerius herself calls it a 'kitchen sofa', thereby making reference to likely uses.

We are all familiar with a variety of situations, like everyday conversations during meal preparation or a spontaneous chat on the telephone, for which neither the living room nor the desk is a suitable setting. The Worker Sofa offers an ideal solution in this context – not too big, but comfortable enough to provide a cosy spot for reading the morning newspaper.

With regard to construction and material, The Worker Sofa is fundamentally the same as The Worker Chair. However, the complementary fabrics on the pillow pads of the twin backrest almost make it seem as if two good friends were sitting next to each other, engaged in intimate conversation.

Polder Sofa XS Leather, 2007, Hella Jongerius

Furniture with leather upholstery always looks elegant and dignified, but often somewhat conservative. So it might initially seem surprising that Hella Jongerius, together with Vitra, is now introducing a dark leather version of the Polder Sofa – especially when the unconventional and fresh appearance of the original Polder Sofa has been the primary reason for its wide and enthusiastic reception.


However, the Dutch designer achieves the feat of combining dignity and freshness. Upon closer observation, one discovers that she has transferred the effect of varied colours in the textile version of the Polder Sofa to the topstitching and buttons in the leather version. And the powerful impact of such small design details is astonishing.

Against the background of the dark brown nappa leather, the various red hues of the stitching and buttons almost begin to glow. Their vigour and charm immediately dispel potential associations with staid, traditional furnishings.


A noteworthy accessory of the Polder Sofa XS leather is the rectangular arm bolster. With linear topstitching and an eye-catching strap handle, it is not only a pleasure to use, but also a striking visual accent.

The Polder Sofa XS leather is exclusively available in the version XS.