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Sofa - Sofa_XXXX

Sofa_XXXX

  • Object:

    Sofa

  • Place of origin:

    Eindhoven (made)

  • Date:

    2011 (designed and made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ushida, Yuya, born 1975 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Bamboo sticks, joined with stainless steel rings and steel nuts and rivets

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased by the Design Fund

  • Museum number:

    W.16-2012

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This sofa was made by hand, solely using bamboo sticks joined by metal rings. The sofa's very simple construction allows it to expand and contract, to seat different numbers of people. Sofa_XXXX was designed by the Japanese designer Yuya Ushida as his graduation piece from the Eindhoven Design Academy. Ushida was inspired by the construction of structures like bridges and towers. The sofa's ingenious design relates to his background as a mechanical engineer. Its construction from simple interlocking parts drawns on a long-standing enthusiasm for Lego.

Physical description

Expanding sofa made from bamboo chopsticks and stainless steel rings. The sofa was made by hand, using seven simple elements interlocked in different combinations. These seven elements are: bamboo chopsticks cut to four different lengths, a metal ring, a rivet, a nut. Once the chopsticks had been cut to size, their edges were sanded. Three holes were then drilled into each stick - at top, end and middle. Two sticks of the same length were joined in an 'x' shape, with a rivet and nut holding them together through the central hole. Once four different sizes of bamboo 'x' had been made, these were joined to each other via stainless steel rings through the holes at top and bottom of the bamboo sticks. The use of stainless steel rings, and the fact that the sofa is entirely made up of flexible 'x' shapes, means that it can expand and contract to sit more or less people along its length.

The sofa is made of approximately 8000 bamboo sticks and 2000 rings. Each stick had to be cut, sanded and drilled individually. The sofa took three weeks to make and can seat three people or up to 210 kg.

Place of Origin

Eindhoven (made)

Date

2011 (designed and made)

Artist/maker

Ushida, Yuya, born 1975 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Bamboo sticks, joined with stainless steel rings and steel nuts and rivets

Dimensions

Height: 98 cm When open, Width: 183 cm When open, Depth: 73 cm When open

Object history note

Ushida made the first version of this sofa as his graduation piece from the Eindhoven Design Academy in 2011. This example is one of an edition of five, plus two artist's proof, which were commissioned from Ushida by Paris' Toolsgalerie in 2011. Protoypes were made by the Dutch manufacturer Ahrend for the production of a fibreglass-reinforced, polymide plastic, mass-produced version of the sofa. The sofa was not put into production, but Ahrend gave the V&A a stool version of the plastic edition in 2012 (W.7-2012).

Historical context note

Yuya Ushida was born in 1975 in Nagoya, Japan. After completing a degree in mechanical engineering from Nagoya University, he worked at a furniture factory in Osaka. This sofa was made as his graduation piece from the Eindhoven Design Academy, in 2011. Having always lived in small places Ushida wanted to make a piece of furniture that would fit smaller spaces. In this contracting design, he was experimenting with his sofa's scale, size and relationship to space.

Ushida wanted to use bamboo for his sofa because it is a non-precious material that signifies everyday life and the domestic environment (as opposed to industrial materials, such as steel or aluminium). He had difficulty sourcing bamboo in Eindhoven, however, and ended up making the sofa using bamboo chopsticks – these were cheap and readily available, and of the perfect size and shape for his design. Each chopstick had to be individually cut to size and sanded before being used in the chair.

Descriptive line

Sofa_XXXX, designed and made by Yuya Ushida, 2011, bamboo chopsticks and stainless steel rings.

Production Note

Artist's proof No 1 (edition of 5, 2 artist proofs and one prototype)

Materials

Bamboo; Steel

Categories

Furniture

Production Type

Artist's proof

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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