The Utrecht-born designer created the Domino.18 sofa for Dutch furniture manufacturer Montis. He spoke to THE Stylemate about inspiration, the contemporary sofa and the meaning of the living room.
What does it take to design a good sofa?
To create a good sofa, a designer has to put themselves in the shoes of the users. What are their expectations? How will the sofa be used? To gain a better understanding, I analyse my own experiences and watch other people sitting, lying and hanging around in all kinds of situations, sometimes interviewing them on what they like and dislike.
What was your inspiration for Domino.18?
It was the challenge of making a simple design with an abundance of possibilities to create different settings and combinations with just a handful of elements. And of course, this simplicity should never limit comfort or appearance!
What are the requirements for a sofa today?
Sofas are centrepieces in the interior and are used in many different ways. The way we use them is very individual, be it for relaxed sitting or reclining or for coming together and enjoying times with friends or colleagues in a more active way. These days, a sofa offers options for those sitting on it to connect, but also options to do other things thanks to different configurations.
What must a good sofa be able to do?
I focus on designing options for lounging, not designing a single sofa, because I know people have different wishes and sofas end up in spaces that have all kinds of shapes, colours and dimensions. Individuality is a key consideration, while maintaining control of cost and complexity.
Which details are relevant?
Details define the overall look and experience of a sofa: the colour, pattern and structure of the fabric or leather, the stitches, the cushions, the proportions and so on. All details are relevant!
How has the meaning of the living room changed?
The living room has always been the place to relax and the place to congregate with family and friends. What has changed is the way we spend time together, sometimes close, often doing other things like reading, watching a movie or working on a laptop.
What also comes into focus is the wish and need to stay flexible. That is why we have made it possible to keep changing the arrangement of the Domino.18, adapting to people’s personal situations and preferences that might change at any moment.
What design object can you yourself not do without?
As a designer of interior objects, I feel connected with everything that surrounds us, everything we like to use both inside and outside.
Dick Spierenburg designs furniture, interiors and houses. He studied architecture in Delft and architectural design at the Royal Academy in The Hague. His designs are considered clean shapes combined with contrasts, associations and details.
Montis was established in 1974. At Montis, they are firm believers of the philosophy “Question everything, but keep the good”. Innovative techniques and new materials allow them to keep moving forward. Quality, craftsmanship, functionality and the ideal balance between comfort and aesthetics set the course for the future in their ongoing pursuit of industrial elegance. Their style is sophisticated, stylish, a little playful, modest and always has its own distinct voice, as self-evident and familiar as the dots in their logo.