For a change, Markus Jehs and Jürgen Laub have imagined upholstered furniture in a completely different way. With the new “pads” that they have developed for Brunner, it is, for example, possible to sit while standing up or stand while sitting down. “We wanted to push the boundaries of upholstered furniture,” is how Laub explains the two’s conceptual approach to this versatile modular system. The Stuttgart-based designer duo has successfully got away from the idea of inflexible ranges of seating furniture by combining elements in different heights. Because two elements fit into each other, this results in a backrest which users can sit on while standing up – thus lending a suite of furniture completely new dimensions: For one person, two or even a crowd of people.
As well as the usual seat height of 45 cm, the multifunctional modules boast a backrest height of 78 cm including their glides and, with their comfortable expanses of upholstery, positively invite users to linger in a standing/sitting position. By so doing, jehs+laub hope particularly to promote a dynamic approach to working and to optimize interpersonal communication. Want to perch on the arm or the backrest for a while? With “pads” this is expressly encouraged! “’pads’ play with the notion of breaking up various different corpuses, thus creating new possibilities for sitting, working or communicating,” as the designer duo explains.
Playing with High and Low Elements
The design itself reflects how playfully the elements can be combined and used. “We are basically using the upholstery as building blocks,” is how Jehs sees it. There is a total of nine elements which can be combined and reconfigured in a host of different ways. “We have teased out a variety of functions for all three dimensions,” explain the product designers. Moreover, screens are available, allowing cubes, L-shapes and all kinds of combinations of rectangular upholstery modules to be assembled to form groups of stand-alone seating.
For interior decorators, “pads” thus serve as an interior design tool. Because, as a matter of principle, the system offers two programs, it is suitable for flexibly designing intermediate zones, such things as elegant seating furniture for an executive office. Alongside modular seating combinations there is a classic sofa range as a basic. “We can imagine pads being used in public spaces, with some people just dropping in briefly for coffee and others lingering for longer, even working for a few hours at a stretch,” Laub comments.
The Possibilities in Terms of an Island
Not only the shapes but also the fabrics and the relevant covers can be chosen freely to suit the individual user. There is even a “flame-resistant” fabric available for “pads”. However, the color concept favored by the two designers does envisage that the two elements, which fit into each other, should be in contrasting colors. At the same time, with their zigzag seams, the two different elements relate to each other, emphasizing that they belong to the same family. All versions of “pads”, a term from the field of upholstery, can be added to. With “Panel pads” and the occasional table, which can be connected up to a power supply, the family really is complete. The space between the modules and islands always remains variable and flexible. With their new modular range “pads”, jehs+laub have thus come up with flexible and versatile furniture for Brunner, furniture which offers a sound solution to future questions concerning the world of work.
“pads” will be presented, along with other innovations by Brunner, at the Brunner Designs Days in early 2021.