Furniture design

With ‘Cutted Cloud’, Finemateria reinvents the polyurethane foam sofa

Presented at EDIT Napoli 2021, Cutted Clouds is a puzzle-like sofa made up of different foam pieces that can be easily produced, assembled and recycled

The ‘Cutted Cloud’ sofa’s unusual design is immediately identifiable by the visible layers of polyurethane foam that make up its form. There are three layers in total and each one has been carefully chosen to perform a different and essential function within a sofa: comfort, elasticity and structural integrity.

“Starting from the top, the third layer is what makes the shape of the module unique and has been chosen to give the product the right comfort,” explains Finemateria, the Milan-based design studio founded by Stefano Bassan and Gianluca Sigismondi. They unveiled the design called ‘Cutted Clouds’ at this year’s EDIT Napoli event. 

“The second layer is the thinnest but gives the module the right elasticity. At the bottom, the first layer is made of UP40 high bearing capacity polyurethane foam that plays a structural role.”

The sofa’s form is reminiscent of a futon with a slightly exaggerated dip between the cushion and the backrest. Bassan and Sigismondi were interested in developing a single-material product that is easy to produce, simple to assemble and uncomplicated to recycle.

They have achieved this by piecing together different segments to create a modular design that permits a level of flexibility. The two larger modules can make up the sofa and the small one can become an armchair, extra modules can be added and the sofa can be extended.

“The production is made only by a horizontal cutting technique,” they explain. “The elements are not permanently fixed and thanks to a lining system they can be easily separated, changed and recycled.”

To keep the different elements in place Finemateria has designed two cover options, both made from nylon. They include a semi-transparent covering that reveals the inner structure of the sofa and a thermo-sensitive nylon that momentarily records the imprint of the heat of the sitter’s body.

[ Most sofas are made from foam that is difficult to recycle, check out Costume sofa is the new seating system by Stefan Diez for Magis ]

Polyurethane foam is the most common cushioning used in upholstered furniture, favoured for the versatility of its different foam grades and their flexibility. Here, Finemateria has shown a novel way to use this conventional material by skipping over the need for complicated construction which in the long run makes furniture harder to recycle and maintain.

Instead, a streamlined approach to design has resulted in a product with a less labour-intensive course of action when it reaches the end of its life cycle.

“Cutted Clouds is a lean and manageable system, where the shape is a consequence of the production processes,” says Finemateria.

Minimizing industrial processing means knowing how to transform limits into opportunities full of meaning. The functions of structure, comfort, and lightness are distinguishable within a single material, that’s why single-materiality becomes an added value.”

[ Modularity and sustainability tend to go hand-in-hand, don’t miss Furniture maker Prostoria celebrates ten years of championing Croatian design ]


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