Sou by Teruhiro Yanagihara
Form and function in layer on layer.
Take a piece of furniture apart down to its most basic components, and put it back together step by step. Teruhiro Yanagihara’s sofa Sou, designed for Offecct, is constructed in different layers to make it possible to freely create different shapes and functions for public environments.
Teruhiro Yanagihara has a background in spatial design and architecture and always thinks about rooms and surfaces, rather than individual objects. As in his previous collection for Offecct, Osaka, the new Sou sofa is based on a spatial perspective where the furniture works as a flexible jigsaw puzzle. “My idea was to start with the sofa’s most basic parts and let the different shapes and functions overlap in layers. The seat is a little higher, so it goes particularly well in restaurants and waiting rooms, for example,” he says.
The image that Teruhiro Yanagihara had in mind during the process was a mille-feuille, a French pastry of many layers which can be varied in different ways. The name ‘Sou’ comes from the Japanese ‘chisou’ which means ‘stratum’, with the prefix ‘chi’ (base) and the suffix ‘sou’ (layer). “It’s about how the sofa is designed, but also the fact that it can have different uses and expressions depending on how you choose to combine the different layers. Since the seat and backrest are separated, you can choose different colours of fabric or different finishes on the table part, for instance” Teruhiro Yanagihara explains.
He also emphasizes the similarity between Japanese and Scandinavian design tradition when it comes to reducing rather than adding to the product. Sou, with its simple shape, is given a timeless and easy-to-place expression, while also being a sustainable design choice with lower consumption of resources and materials.
Photo: Björn Ceder