Dezeen Magazine

Belly Love by Florence Jaffrain

Designer Florence Jaffrain has created a sofa covered in glow-in-the-dark fibres, which moves as if it's breathing.

Called Belly Love, the furniture is made of foam covered in the photo luminescent fabric, which also contains capsules that release fragrance into the air.

The prototype is on show at Slott Gallery in Paris as part of an exhibition called Preliminaries.

The exhibition continues until 12 February.

Here's some text from Jaffrain:


Belly Love - 

In its shape, Belly Love is directly inspired by Sarcophyton elegans, a soft coral found in the Indian Ocean. Transiting from the tropical reef to the Parisian living room, it retains its elegance and increases its comfort quotient, becoming both paradise of the senses and vessel for the body.

Thanks to a new textile material especially created by ENSAIT in Roubaix using photoluminescent components and microcapsules incorporated in the fibre, “Belly Love” recreates the magical luminosity of the ocean bottom, while diffusing the pleasant fragrance of essential oils.

The sarcophyton’s tentacles become soft bristles inviting caresses and when we rest our head on the piece, the beating of its heart gives an idyllic cadence to this waking dream.

“Belly Love” breathes as well, and we do well to wonder if it is a mechanism hidden under the memory foam or a genuine life force that animates this membrane.

Coral or sofa, synthetic or organic, this question does not come to mind when we behold the object: through the perfection of its technical aspects, Florence is able to make us entirely chase away such concerns. Magic takes over, transporting us into the realm of poetry.

Incidentally, Florence tell us that when she created the mould in collaboration with Géraldine Blin, the shape of the heart appeared of its own accord on the underside of the piece… “Belly Love” was born! It is a belly because it takes us back to the sensorial ideal of our life in the womb and also because it breathes with the ease and tranquillity of a protective masculine figure.
“Belly Love” therefore combines male and female principles, retaining the best of both. It evokes to some extent Plato’s mythical ideal of the Androgyne.

“Belly Love” cultivates the paradox of being both asexual and sensual. Its shape envelops you, so that you may give way to the protection of its breast. You don’t lie down on this sofa, you coil up on it. You attune your breathing to its own respiration until you and the object are one. All that remains is the suggestion of a breath ebbing and flowing like a wave, irresolute on the coral reefs. “Belly Love” has the aspect of an erogenous mucous membrane, soft and sensual, that carries us along with it in an inebriation of the senses.

Ultimately, this sensorial sofa is not a concept accessible to reason. It needs to be conceived instead as a sensation of total well-being, abandon, letting go, a harmony that stimulates every fibre of our being, awakening desire and imagination. “Belly Love” by Florence Jaffrain is to contemporary design what Pygmalion’s Galatea is to mythological sculpture: the sensorial sofa was only intended to awaken desire, but it has assumed a life of its own to become itself an object of desire.

Materials: Soft foam, photoluminescent sensory fabric
Dimensions : H 90 x W 170 x D 170 cm

Florence Jaffrain

Can furniture offer everyday utility while at the same time awakening the senses? To answer this question, Florence Jaffrain joins playful design with a sharing process, thus creating a platform bridging several disciplines based on the theme of the encounter, with oneself as well as with others.

In this manner, she invests each of her creations with a joyful, modular practicality that is in a constant state of becoming. Florence’s unstinting generosity compels her to push back boundaries and her work, always instilled with real humanity, becomes the focus of a perpetual quest for meaning. She explores the freedom of the body and the mind, thus crafting new forms for our living spaces. Codes are redefined to open us to new bodily postures, awakening our senses and causing us to rediscover the other in new ways. Florence’s creations may also be distinguished by their primary function: “I revel in all forms of lived intensity, whether intellectual or physical,” declares the artist, who says her purpose is to “create an object that may be loved. I conceive objects that merge different disciplines and concerns, but that are manufactured according to varying criteria. Today my objects are more than mere creations – they constitute a philosophy in and of themselves: playful, yes, but also ecological, sustainable, eco-recyclable, locally produced, with a portion of profit donated to humanitarian causes.” Florence is interested in our deep satisfaction and fulfilment in the present moment, through an approach that respects beings and forms. Florence lives and Works in Paris.