The Artists

rouge et noir 2010
by: Stefan Furrer

“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose.”
I remembered this quote by Charles Eames when a friend of mine asked me to build a daybed for him. The thing is: he lives in Switzerland and I live and work on the North Coast in California.
The particular purpose I had to accomplish wasn’t just to design a comfortable daybed – which isn’t easy in itself - but a daybed that can be dismantled into short pieces of 27” to fit into my suitcase. Fortunately my brother, Markus, is an interior decorator and has an upholstery business in Zurich. I worked closely via email with my nephew, Boas, on this project.
We agreed on centimeters and the metric system to avoid surprises later. He advised me on the hardness vs. softness of the cushions.
A daybed is a hybrid, a combination of a sofa and a bed, I learned.
It has to have both characteristics: a certain firmness for a comfortable nights sleep and a softness that is just right for the sitting during the day.
Since this daybed is only occasionally used for overnight guests we went for a slightly softer surface. Foam blocks of different hardness were used to build up the cushions. I imagined a very sparse and minimalistic understructure to carry the gorgeous red leather upholstery.
Since the length of the individual pieces restricted me, I came up with the idea of three demicubes bolted together as one unit. I welded six frames for the fronts and the backs and tapped 12 distance holders. Spread among three suitcases I didn’t even have to pay overweight on my flight to Switzerland.
I assembled the whole daybed right there in my friend’s living room – but it felt like docking two space ships in outer space.
A back-/armrest can be placed where ever one chooses or left aside altogether. Ten leveler feet assure a firm placement on the floor.

81 x 27 x18

leather, steel