Michael Sodeau’s designs for OFFECCT: seductive and sensual
OFFECCT recently embarked on a long-term collaboration with the internationally well-known British designer Michael Sodeau, with whom it has been in contact for several years. The first result of this new arrangement is an elegant series of easy chairs inspired by the Swedes’ love of shellfish. The name Oyster also suggests the idea of a place to escape to—somewhere that belongs to no-one else, even though it exists within a larger milieu. Taking an environmentally sustainable approach has been a major priority throughout the project, from initial concept to finished product.
“It’s exciting for us to cooperate with Michael Sodeau, and his innovative thinking provides yet another opportunity to develop new seating furniture for the consumer and the conference environment,” says OFFECCT’s CEO Kurt Tingdal. “We aim to be the leader in furniture for international conference environments, and new designers who add their expertise to our development team are an important
component in our success.”
Sodeau knows how to create beautiful, appealing design. In his Oyster easy chair series, he weaves sensuality, comfort, and flexibility into a well-proportioned whole. The shape of the easy chair is inspired by the seductive shell of an oyster, and the curved armrests offer users a breathing space in the midst of a busy environment. The easy chair would suit many public spaces, such as a hotel lobby, where it would both be a beautiful object and provide a relaxing and comfortable seat. For someone looking for a place to work undisturbed, Oyster offers an inviting retreat.
“Designing a good easy chair is a challenge that calls for a well-developed ability to identify with the chair user,” Sodeau explains. “I usually think about how people will sit and move in the chair, how it will be used, and where it will be used.”
Protecting the environment is a priority for both OFFECCT and Michael Sodeau. An environmental perspective has been key throughout the development of Oyster, resulting in a more efficient use of materials. Despite its considerable size, the easy chair requires a relatively small amount of material to produce.
“As a designer, you have a great environmental responsibility,” Sodeau observes. “In all our projects, we consider and discuss the sustainability aspect, and look for areas where we can improve. In most cases, we find something we can add or do to make the product more environmentally sustainable. For Oyster, we used a minimum of materials, worked to reduce transport costs, and thought through all aspects of the sustainability perspective.”
Born in 1969, Michael Sodeau established his design studio in London in 1997. His has designed for Thonet Vienna, Magis, Modus, and Wedgewood, and his work is represented in the Victoria and Albert Museum. Once upon a line, a book by Alex Payne on Sodeau’s design, was published in 2000.