CATCHING UP WITH NORM ARCHITECTS
Artifort spoke to Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen from Norm Architects about his design vision and sofa concept Track.
What was the inspiration for Track?
Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen: "Our designs are always created to meet needs - and as architects working with interior design in the contract market - designing hotels, restaurants, office spaces and retail - we saw the demand for a simple and beautiful modular sofa that could accommodate an array of needs in different settings. A sofa that was flexible and a product can easily be shaped to any given space and situation – from rectilinear to organic – from casual seating to engaged work situations - Track can be combined and repurposed endlessly.
"As a kid many might remember playing with wooden building blocks of some sort. Building blocks that were in constant change - becoming something new every time they were used. They could create almost anything the mind was set to and they would satisfy the need of creating. Even as an adult and in the professional world we have the need to create and to build something, and this was definitely part of the inspiration for the Track sofa program. We have over the past 5-10 years seen a contract market, where spaces constantly need to change to accommodate new ways of working, new ways of living and new ways of collaboration. Where spaces used to be much more static, today we see a need to constantly remodel, repurpose and resize. We wanted to give the client an opportunity to become a part of that design process by offering a wide range of building blocks to help them create, alter and in the end meet their needs with a product that stays relevant in different use cases."
Can you share your vision about the form language of Track?
"The sofa is made from two upholstery parts - a seat and a backrest both designed with comfort and support in mind. Both elements are designed as two organic drops, shaped individually with one balancing on the edge of the other, creating a contour that is simple yet strong – a shape that just balances on that point where the product stands out as something special, but can blend into most situations. The interplay of the two shapes creates a mesmerizing shadow play when put together and there is a clear balance between something strict, architectural and geometric on one hand and something organic and biomorphic on the other."
Why did you choose the name Track for this sofa program?
"The name Track came from the inspiration of building blocks or tracks being assembled to form a movement through a landscape – in this case a landscape of interior and furniture."
What makes Track unique?
"The footprint of the sofa is very small while maintaining a great comfort. Track is also a sofa that balances aesthetically between what has traditionally been considered as contract and the style residential interior design. It has the possibility to morph into almost any environment both functionally as well as aesthetically. The possibilities are legio."
How does your style as a designer match the Artifort DNA?
"At Norm we believe in long lasting designs with a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail and durability to ensure universal designs that transcends cultural preferences, trends and fashion. We believe designs should be sensorial, simple and functional. It means designing with empathy for the human psyche, our physical form and all of our five human senses. It means designing with intention and restraint, with uncompromising quality, craftsmanship and technical skill. And it means designing practical solutions to problems that simultaneously improve daily life and finally, designing with longevity and sustainability in mind. Looking at the catalogue of Artifort boosting classics that have stood the test of time and that are still relevant today, we feel the ethos of Artifort and our design philosophy is a perfect match."
What was your toughest challenge when designing this sofa program?
"The toughest challenge when creating this sofa program is to find the right balance – between richness and restraint and between simplicity and flexibility. How few single items could we design to create a world with almost endless possibilities?"
What is your favorite combination for Track in terms of colouring?
"By working with natural forms, materials and natural earthy colors we can create spaces and objects that engage with our ancestral aesthetic preferences—that feel good, look good and that last. By favoring a neutral palette derived from nature, we can create timeless and calming designs that invite the user to overlay the colour of everyday life."