Moooi extends its seating collection with its first modular sofa. Something Like This Sofa sees designer Maarten Baas original gestural drawing live on through the seating system’s irregular, sketchy outlines. Whereas rough, crooked strokes are typically smoothed out during the manufacturing process, Something Like This Sofa celebrates asymmetry. Like mountainous terrain, the sofa doesn’t take itself too seriously.
A few years ago, Baas approached Moooi with a concept unlike anything on the market. ‘I’d always wanted to make a sofa that looks “something like this”: like a quick drawing. My works are often developed from spontaneous sketches – rough drafts that end up as perfect products. Moooi, being a brand that wants to make a difference, didn’t want to produce another variation of what we already know. This style of modular sofa hadn’t been done before, and Moooi wanted to go all the way.’
Commenting on the relationship between manufacturing and the creative process, Baas says he misses the looseness of lines in industrial products. The flair and freedom found with a pencil are often erased during the production phase, particularly with a modular system. ‘That’s because it’s easier to produce straight lines. The result is a dime a dozen furniture, whose aesthetic is determined by ease and efficiency. The soul of a design is often squeezed out along the way. Because the initial sketch was so quick, my biggest challenge was to keep that original drawing alive.’ The product bridges the designer’s initial inspiration and the structural world of a commercial system. ‘That’s also what Moooi stands for.’
Despite the sketch’s impulsiveness, the idea of the Something Like This Sofa is based on an archetypal three-seater sofa. ‘Everyone knows a sofa that looks like that, but they always have square cushions. The fact that Something Like This Sofa isn’t straight – its corners aren’t 90 degrees – makes it unique.’
The playful product provides some insight into the way Baas’s creative mind works, while also allowing the customer to become the creator.