The good shape or: How to develop a comfortable couch?
“Design follows function.” is our motto. If I make the effort of building a couch, then it should be ergonomical and highly comfortable. It should also be more comfortable than those that I already know. And of course it should be able to activate the sense of balance. It should be able to sway und the surface should swing freely like in a musical instrument.
With these requirements in mind I set to work. A few beech veneers were bent into shape, a bend here and a curve there. Ah, no! How uncomfortable. I better try another radius… By thorough experimentation the rocking couch gradually took shape. Literally.
Not by mathematical formulae, not by studying books about the building of ergonomical couches or by design sketches, but by building 1:1 scale models and experimentation with many different test persons: big, small, fat and thin people. Everyone I met was put on the couch und was encouraged to give feedback about the shape. Only then the design followed.
How can I give the curve an appealing form by utilizing the swaying function? Which materials, colors, haptics and surfaces do I choose? Then followed the baptism by fire on an international trade fair. A physiotherapist arrives and is amazed.
He returns on the second day of the fair and asks if he could lie down on the couch another time. He didn’t sleep very well in his hotel and dreamt of my comfortable couch. Yes, here the body can regenerate quickly and compensate for the lack of sleep. The therapist commented, “If it was also possible to lock the swinging function, this would make a perfect treatment couch.”
So, the tinkering continues. It should be simple and not too technical, no unneccesary bells and whistles, and durable… a milling here, a button there, another guide, and – ta-daa! The Vario model with steplessly adjustable fixing brackets is born. What about arm rests? A wider model for two people? Genuine leather covers? In black or white? These challenges were my motivation to further develop a highly cutomizable couch.