Dezeen Magazine

Heaven by Tokujin Yoshioka

Milan 08: Italian brand Cassina launched Heaven, a new armchair by Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka at the Milan furniture fair earlier this month.


"Heaven is a sofa which was completed by designing the comfort itself," claims Yoshioka. "It brings the ultimate experience of comfort as if you were in heaven.


"On the day I was going to give the first presentation to Cassina, I was fortunate to have a tour of their factory. There, I was impressed by the superior quality and craftsmanship such as the structure and materials. I also became deeply aware of affection and pleasure that their craftsmen have for the creation. Through the visit, I strongly felt their focus is to pursue more for comfort than the physical appearance. I dared not to show nor propose my initial idea which I had prepared for that day.

Photographs above by Nicola Zocchi.

Photograph below by Santi Caleca


"As I had recognized that the most important thing for Cassina is a comfort itself, I came up with an idea that is to design a sofa which gives a sitter a feeling of as if they were in a heaven. All the elements such as a design which I could realize only with Cassina - the tradition and technique of Cassina which have been developed through decades and enthusiasm for creation - were condensed in a new sofa. I have incorporated a modern interpretation while respecting a traditional craftsmanship."


The following press release is from Cassina:


Tokujin Yoshioka - Heaven

The result of the first meeting between Tokujin Yoshioka’s “impalpable signs” and the concrete savoir faire of Cassina is the amazing Heaven armchair. If the saying “there are always seven signs” is true, Heaven represents the eighth, given that it propels us towards a new dimension of comfort.

A subtle reference to icons that have made the Cassina story, this armchair manages to convey at first glance all the innovation built up step by step through a symbiotic relationship between the Japanese designer and the exceptional manufacturing and design workshop that is the company’s Research and Development centre.

With Heaven, Yoshioka’s poetics are for the first time concentrated on padding in the classic sense of the term, though endowing it with an allure that is hardly traditional. The irregular contour of the padding and the seemingly accidental folds of the upholstery conceal a manic attention to form that enhances comfort to the maximum. As if the chair had retained the impression of the figure just now curled up in it, registering all the elements that allowed it to be comfortable. An asymmetry that also suggests positions other than the traditional one, such as lying across it or stretching out as on a chaise longue... A false “shabby” look, calibrated by the elegance of the proportions, the lightness of the overall substance that makes it fly, without gravity, like a cloud in some unearthly dimension, in spite of the steel frame that supports the padding.

The choice of upholstery, linen or leather, is not accidental. The creator was looking for the fibres that would best suit this game of imitation creases, those best able to impress the memory of the armchair in their folds.

Heaven, magnificent proof of manufacturing capability, is destined to become the icon of that happy marriage between advanced industrialisation and the tailor’s craft that characterises every Cassina product.

The uneven rhythm of folds and upholstery, a curious invention of Yoshioko’s intended to support the act of sitting in the best possible way to give totally relaxing comfort, represents the real challenge for Cassina, who had the task of industrialising the irregularity. An effort that involved both the best craftsmen, who gave detailed form to the wrinkles and undulations imagined by the designer-poet, as well as the most modern technologies which made it possible to produce them in large numbers.

With Heaven, Cassina once again demonstrates its ability to innovate, through an intimate and ongoing dialogue with visionary designers, who start with the reinterpretation of a form and turn it upside down until it becomes a different form with a new meaning, ready to set the standard in the theatres of modern living.