Dezeen Magazine

Envisioned Comfort furniture collection pairs velvet seats with wooden frameworks

Plush, tufted velvet seats are drooped over complex frameworks of interlocking wooden poles in this furniture collection by Marija Puipaitė and Vytautas Gečas, which takes design cues from horse saddles.

The furniture series, titled Envisioned Comfort, features a saddle chair, an armchair, a stool and a console table.

The base of each design comprises a structure of numerous beech dowels held together with wood-and-brass clasps. The poles are cut at different lengths to form undulating, ergonomic surfaces that fit the shape of the user's body.

The more poles that are incorporated into the structure, the more detailed the curves will be.

Each pole penetrates the velvet upholstery secured on top and is topped with brass "buttons", resulting in an effect similar to a traditional tufted sofa or headboard.

As the designers explain, the "rhythmical" construction invites viewers to admire the carefully crafted elements of the design.

The Lithuanian duo came together to create the collection after being invited to contribute to an exhibition under the theme of "fantasy" curated by Israeli designer Erez Nevi Pana.

"One of us had a fantasy about an object that could bring a womb-like pleasure," explained Gečas, "meaning – the ultimate satisfaction that the material environment can give."

"We merged our two different design practices into one object, taking this fantasy as a starting point," he added.

Puipaitė created the soft upholstery while Gečas developed the wooden structure. By merging their two design practices, the duo found a common point "where the construction defines and forms a fluid shape into an ergonomic entity".

The juxtaposition of plush, fabric seats against solid, gridded structures was "a purely technical solution on how to connect soft and hard parts," Puipaitė told Dezeen.

"This construction can be applied to almost any furniture you imagine," the designer added.

"On the one hand, it's a complex object with lots of elements. On the other hand – not alike other soft furniture – the pieces are completely honest and openly show the way they are built."

All of the furniture pieces are functional, and were designed with ultimate comfort in mind by following the natural positions and curves of the body.

"The saddle stool is exceptional," said Puipaitė. "By investigating a person's natural position when on a horse saddle, we realised that by spreading the legs out and pressing the knees to the saddle you tend to naturally sit straight instead of hunching."

"Within this collection, we show how it's possible to see all the objects more like shaped surfaces that are built for us to act on," she added.

The duo also designed a chaise lounge in 2018 as the first prototype for the series, which featured a furry upholstery instead of the current velvet versions.

The Envisioned Comfort collection was presented at the 2020 edition of Collectible Design Fair by Galerija Vartai, which took place in March in Brussels.

Previous editions of the Collectible fair have seen designers stretch slabs of recycled pearlescent polycarbonate like taffy to create furniture, or use tracing paper soaked in rice water to make stools and tables.

Photography is by Darius Petrulaitis.