Shell Sofa

Furniture Design Award Winner.
Awarded Silver for Good Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design.

Shell Sofa
by Natalia Komarova

  • Awarded April 15, 2019
  • CLIENT: Alter Ego Studio
  • 391

The Shell sofa appeared as a combination of sea shells outlines and fashion trends in imitating exoskeleton technology and 3d printing. The aim was to create a sofa with the effect of optical illusion. It should be the light and airy furniture that could be used both at home and outdoors. To achieve the effect of lightness a web of nylon ropes was used. Thus the hardness of the carcass is balanced by the weaving and softness of the silhouette lines. A rigid base under the corner sections of the seat can be used as side tables and soft overhead seats and cushions finish the composition.

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Good  Design

Shell Sofa

Good Design

Great Design by Natalia Komarova

Shell Sofa

Great Design by Natalia Komarova

Inspirational Sofa Design

Shell Sofa

Inspirational Sofa Design

Shell Sofa Image

Shell Sofa

Shell Sofa Image

Shell Sofa

Natalia Komarova

Designer of Shell Sofa


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Interview with Natalia Komarova on Shell Sofa

What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
The basic principle by which I was guided when creating the Shell sofa was conciseness and simplicity. Natural forms and lines formed by sea shells became a source of inspiration for me. I tried to convey this lightness and smoothness in my project.
What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
I wanted to achieve the effect of lightness and airiness with such rather large sofa dimensions. I think that I succeeded, thanks to the use of nylon threads, which twine around the frame and create an airy rounded shape. In addition, functionality was important to me. For this, I have provided several options for using the sofa. You can lie on it, and if you wish, you can remove the side cushions and thus get the side tables.
What are your future plans for this award winning design?
Together with a manufacturing company in the coming years, I plan to launch the production of these sofas. In addition, I have ideas for the presentation of the sofa at several design exhibitions. And I would very much like one of these sofas in the company's office, so that customers can see the results of the company's work in person.
How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
The idea came to me about a year ago, I tried several variations and was engaged in calculations. During the week I created several sketches with my team and when we finally decided on the design, we started to visualize it.
Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
I really liked that the source of inspiration was a subject from the natural environment. Shells refer to the thoughts of the sea and bring a pleasant impression. It seemed to me that this form of the sofa will create associations with a sea, something where a soul is resting and rest comes. So I decided to develop this idea and completely succumbed to inspiration.
Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
If possible, we will use different ways of interaction and production of this project. Most likely it will be a joint project with the company-manufacturer, which will continue to be engaged in the sale of products.
What made you design this particular type of work?
I love to design soft furniture. Despite the great competition in this market segment, I feel that I can give a customer something new and original that will stand out from the total mass of products.
Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
The designer from my team, who is engaged in the production of 3D models, helped me to create the final image of the sofa. Together we finally decided on the form and possible materials for the production of the sofa.
Who is the target customer for his design?
I think this sofa can be enjoyed by young and middle-aged people. They are the target customer for this design of the sofa. These are people who like to experiment with the space of their home and they like non-initial, bold decisions.
What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
Design was born on the basis of natural reference. As if you are looking at a shell with X-ray vision and fixing its internal frame. The shape of the sofa, its performance, and several uses in combination determine its originality and dissimilarity to other sofas.
How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
As you might guess, the name refers to the subject, which shape served as a source of inspiration. I prefer not to complicate the names of my products and, as a rule, the essence of the project is already laid in the title.
Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
I did not use any unique devices in when designing this project. Even the references were only on exoskeleton technology. I drew sketches several times, after that the form and the selection of materials were finalized. Mostly the work went in 3d max, Autocad and Photoshop.
What is the most unique aspect of your design?
I strive to create not only a specific product, but also emotions. I try to create things that will bring joy to their owners.
Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
I sought the advice of people who are well versed in human anatomy in order to find the correct form of the seat and backrest of the sofa.
What is the role of technology in this particular design?
Exoskeleton is one of the most relevant ideas both in the technology world and in the design world. It inspired me to create such a form of a sofa and its appearance.
Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
First of all, I used my life experience and knowledge that I had accumulated over the years that I work in the field of design. I studied a lot in theme of the features of human perception and read books on anatomy in order to better understand how to make my furniture more comfortable and cozy for customers.
What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
The problem was that the sofa was quite big in size. It was necessary to find a solution how to simplify its construct, so that it does not look bulky and does not weigh too much. In addition, it was important to create a convenient frame, fairly simple to manufacture.
How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
I understand the importance of such events. Winning the competition opens up many new opportunities for realization of our company's products and I decided that this project has a chance to win.
What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
I began to understand more about how to properly present my work. I tried to prepare a project at the highest level, due to which I significantly improved the quality of visualization and presentation, paid much attention to details and selection of materials.

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