The Model 06 is one of our most exciting, if not the most exciting launches to happen at Swyft. Not only is it innovative in terms of design, but it’s extremely comfortable. We sat down with Andre, the designer behind the Model 06, to discover how it came about, and what makes this model so exciting for us at Swyft.
Q: What was Swyft trying to achieve with the Model 06?
A: "The initial brief was to design the most comfortable sofa in the collection. A sofa that shouts comfort and feels as comfy as it looks. A sofa that is both stylish and versatile in a way that can be used in many different environments, from a city apartment to a country home".
Q: What inspired the Model 06?
A: "In terms of style, we knew from the start that the Model 06 collection would have a large focus on cushions. With this in mind, we tried to make it timeless and tailored so that it could work with many different styles. Referencing Italian design, the back and arms come with slim profiles, deep proportions and refined detailing. To give the sofa a flowing and loose feel, reminiscent of comfort, there’s three centimetres of extra fabric on the back and side cushions as well as on the back and arms.
In part, we referenced country style sofas, with a loose look and deep, generous proportions. However, we wanted to add a contemporary element to the styling; the result being a good hybrid between the clean, minimal look, seen throughout the rest of the collection, and an envelopment of comfort. Model 06 evokes warmth and comfort while giving space a clean silhouette".
Q: How does the Model 06 differ from Swyft's other collections?
A: "Model 06 is a modular sofa system, a coated steel frame platform with eight holes that form the base of the system. This system allows cushions, armrests and backs to be added so custom configurations can be built. The modules are slotted together through a U or L shape steel connector, and can be configured from a single armchair up to a four-seat sofa and beyond, as well as in a row or corner configuration.
The proportions of the sofa are the most generous across our entire range, the base frame being 80 x 80cm which is 10cm larger than Model 03. Each base module has the same deep seating and large cushion. The soft cushion is made of a high-quality resilient foam core with a wrap filling of 70% feathers and 30% fibres (this filling is also used on the other cushions). Feathers were used in the seat and back to emphasise comfort and really maximise the luxurious experience. This combination of materials really puts comfort at the forefront.
The modular system allows components to easily be added, removed, or rearranged as the customer pleases, which I think is really unique".
Q: How did you go about designing Model 06? What was the process?
A: "Sourcing and creating partnerships with specialist suppliers was a big part of this project. For example, we worked really hard on understanding the benefits of working with cold cured foam, to help us maximise and automate efficiency and processes within our own factory.
We had a lot of trial and error with the seat and back to achieve the strength and safety needed on the component’s connection. By partnering with metal specialists who conducted stress analysis tests, we've ensured the design is strong and durable.
To get the optimum level of comfort, we looked at several material combinations until we got it right, which meant a lot of prototyping, sampling, and assessing comfort. To make sure that style was correct, we did multiple fabric templates to achieve the loose and comfortable look".
Q: How long has it taken to design the Model 06?
A: "The initial concept was relatively quick, but taking that concept through to launch has involved many hands, prototypes, and months of testing to make sure the Model 06 was exactly how we envisioned. As previously mentioned, the build focused on speaking with specialists from various suppliers to understand new ways to work and manufacture. Overall, I'd estimate it took a few months from beginning to end".
Q: From a design perspective, what areas were the most challenging?
A: "The whole concept of the sofa was new to us, from upholstering metal frames to the introduction of cold cured foam; engaging parts on the top face of the base, ensuring safety and strength throughout - were all very challenging.
The use of metal frames were a big differentiator here. The way we've upholstered the Model 06 is a little different from the rest of the collection, which uses wooden frames. We also instructed the help of our prototype upholsterer and his years of expertise to totally eliminate the need for staples, which isn't something you see on the market very often.
I am very happy that the culture in R&D contributes to constant innovation. The main driver behind our work is all about finding new ways to improve our customer experience and I think this concept really shows with this new model. It's been a real team effort to come up with something as exciting as the Model 06, and we're all really proud of it".