Furniture design

The idea of modularity seen as a fundamental element of sustainability

In collaboration with the Italian furniture maker, MDF Italia, Snøhetta has created Array—a modular sofa system that combines creative versatility with comfort in a more sustainable approach.

The topic of sustainability has been widely discussed for some time, with both designers and companies striving to share their views on the issue. The Array modular sofa, designed by Snøhetta for MDF Italia, represents one such effort. This product aligns with the trend towards modularity, offering users the flexibility to tailor the solution to their specific needs and, crucially, to alter and repair individual components as needed.

Array redefines the traditional sofa by offering enhanced flexibility and comfort in a thoughtful way. The system consists of sleek, interlocking modules that easily adapt to different settings, enabling unique configurations and spatial options. Each component of Array is intentionally designed for easy disassembly, promoting repair, replacement, or recycling, which in turn fosters longevity and minimizes material consumption over time.

Array modular sofa by Snohetta for MDF Italia
Array modular sofa by Snohetta for MDF Italia

By utilizing injection molding for the base, Array minimizes material waste and incorporates a significant amount of recycled content. This method produces a light structure with a hollow core, reducing the environmental impact without sacrificing quality or comfort. The bio-foam cover, which includes 51% recycled material, is removable and replaceable. Additionally, elastic ropes are placed beneath each module to facilitate quick and straightforward textile changes.

This modular sofa (see more designs here) is designed to deliver comfort on several levels: ergonomic, planning, contextual, and usability. Its ergonomic features provide perfect proportions and softness suitable for various settings. The limited selection of modules simplifies planning, blending versatility with simplicity. The narrower module width enhances the comfort of fitting into different spaces with ease. Array modular sofa not only provides supreme comfort but also sets a new standard in furniture design by encouraging a mindful living approach, where high-quality design meets practicality, durability, and responsible manufacturing.

Array modular sofa by Snohetta for MDF Italia
Array modular sofa by Snohetta for MDF Italia

Moreover, Snøhetta has extended the line with a collection of side tables that complement the sofa modules. These tables are just as versatile, available in four different styles, including one that fits perfectly between sofa modules, making Array a comprehensive system for any space.

Our approach to Array encapsulates Snøhetta’s core belief that design must serve the present and honor the future. When MDF Italia challenged us with the ambitious brief to re-imagine comfort, we understood that we had a partner equally eager to challenge the status quo. By developing the design from the inside out, we identified that focusing on a smaller scale could challenge both manufacturing methods and the system’s flexibility as a whole,” states Marius Myking, Director of Snøhetta Product Design.

Array modular sofa by Snohetta for MDF Italia
Array modular sofa by Snohetta for MDF Italia

Array modular sofa represents a forward-thinking model in furniture design and innovation, focusing on improving the furniture life cycle and its technical aspects from the ground up. This shift in design philosophy reimagines every component to emphasize environmental stewardship without compromising on quality or comfort. The system offers six distinct modules, available in a variety of colors and textiles from renowned Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat, ensuring a fully customizable experience.


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