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marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia

THE EUFOLIA SOFA BY MARCEL WANDERS STUDIO FOR NATUZZI ITALIA EXPLORES MICRO-LIVING

 

three years ago, pasquale junior natuzzi — better known as PJ natuzzi — took over the creative direction of natuzzi italia, the apulian company founded by his father in 1959. shifting the focus from the product to the experience, one of his first moves was inviting designers to dive into natuzzi’s DNA, merge it with their own, and create new collections. the first collaboration was with amsterdam-based marcel wanders studio and it was such a successful partnership that the studio has been invited again to design for natuzzi italia, this time for the 2021 collection titled the circle of harmony — live the transition.

 

following both the speed and scale of changes we have been faced with on so many fronts, and with the idea that forging great relationships results in great products, PJ natuzzi enlisted his 2021 design army  — marcel wanders studio, elena salmistraro, sabine marcelis, lorenza bozzoli, massimo iosa ghini, marco piva, patrick norguet and formafantasma — to translate this feeling of constant change and transition towards the unknown.

 

marcel wanders studio dived into the idea of micro-living, and presents eufolia, a sofa that explores innovative solutions to small spaces without having to renounce to the quality of craftsmanship and design. designboom met with marcel wanders and gabriele chiave in puglia, where they discussed the challenges of designing a sofa, and how the pandemic has shown us that we are the most flexible and multifunctional part of our homes. read our interview below.

marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia

 

A SOFA THAT EVOKES LIGHTNESS

 

eufolia by marcel wanders studio for natuzzi italia is a modular system which evokes the lightness of one of the most characteristic elements of the apulian landscape: the olive leaf. the dutch studio created a compact sofa in which the slightly flared design of the armrests and backrests gives the project a welcoming aesthetic, while responding to the need for multifunctional living areas with limited dimensions.

 

the eufolia sofa explores furnishing solutions with table tops that can be integrated between the seats, amplifying the modularity of the project. it also considers different spaces, therefore it’s available in numerous configurations — from two seats to a sectional version. the light and harmonious silhouette is complemented by the glossy black metal base. the sofa can be upholstered in fabric, leather, or in a special covering developed by marcel wanders studio and BYBORRE (more on designboom here).  this last one is a unique 3D ™️ yarn, knitted with a blend of the finest wool and recycled PES, which makes it extremely resistant and durable, and at the same time luxurious, comfortable and totally eco-sustainable.

marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia

 

INTERVIEW WITH MARCEL WANDERS & GABRIELE CHIAVE FROM MARCEL WANDERS STUDIO

 

DESIGNBOOM (DB): among the designers of this new circle of harmony, you are the only ones who have worked with natuzzi italia in the past. in fact, PJ told us that it was with you that he started this novel idea of natuzzi italia. how is this new chapter and evolution of your collaboration with the brand?

 

GABRIELE CHIAVE (GC): well, as you rightly said, we were the first outsourced designer that PJ brought into natuzzi, something that was quite new for the brand. we started three or four years ago and it was a very good start. we got to know each other, we did great things, we did some mistakes, we learned how we work and how natuzzi works. and that takes a bit of time. now, after three years, three or four collections, we really, really understand each other. we understand what natuzzi needs, we understand what we can deliver to natuzzi to be on the level they want to be. 

marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia

 

DB: the previous collections agronomist and oceanographer drew inspiration from apuglia and its characteristics. the new sofa is called eufolia with a direct reference to the region’s flora. could you walk us through this project?

 

MARCEL WANDERS (MW): I think what we tried to do – and what we like to do with companies – is to blend the genetic formula of a company and the genetics of the studio. when we do this, we get the best out of both worlds. natuzzi is a special company for a few reasons, but one of them is that they are really dedicated to their people, to the surrounding, to the land. their production is not made in china, it’s here in puglia. for them, what is local is very important and so is the way of acting as a family. I think it’s very beautiful and very special. we found it therefore interesting to have our inspiration and our thoughts, grounded and embedded in puglia: in the nature, in the water, in the green.

marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia

 

DB: what is micro living for you and how did you approach the issue of reduced living spaces?

 

GC: this was tricky because natuzzi’s sofas and systems are very comfortable, but also very large, somewhat envisioned for big spaces. we thought why not creating a project that would be more urban, more for spaces which are definitely smaller but without compromising on the comfort and without compromising on the proportion of a beautiful system. therefore, eufolia is like a scaled down sofa system in proportions. it’s very light, it’s smaller, and it recalls the leaf of an olive tree. it’s also very versatile, and it is able to connect with different ways to work or to sit with family and friends.

 

studio-marcel-wanders-natuzzi-eufolia-sofa-designboom-005

 

DB: what were the challenges of designing that specific type of sofa?

 

MW: I think the trouble with designing a sofa is always that it’s a very particular design project. the most important quality that a sofa has is maybe its surface and its textures. so with upholstered sofas one of the main qualities is the fabrics, and you don’t even get to choose them. the other thing is that you have to find a way to make it fit a space and to have it be super comfortable. ultimately, you are making an object that will be the biggest one in the room, and probably will be a bit too big for it because this is the normality. overall, the challenge was to find a way to make something that has presence yet is humble, that has character, yet is refined.

marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia

 

DB: in the past year we have talked a lot of changes in people’s needs, above all in the way we experience our domestic space- how has your studio approached this issue, and how do you see it evolving in the future?

 

MW: I think what we have seen is that with all of us using the house in a very different way, and in fact expecting that to happen more in the future, there’s enough reason to rethink all activities in the house. but also, I think that what we have seen is that whatever the situation pushed us in — whether the dog was there,  the kids were screaming, or the phone was ringing — we always found ways to make our houses work for us. if we think about furniture to be flexible, or multifunctional, I think that what we can learn from the situation is that the most functional element that we find in every house is us. we are the most flexible and multifunctional part of the house. we are able, with very fundamental and archetypical furniture, to do whatever we want. ultimately, I think we are the most flexible object in the house.

 

 

GC: the sofa we designed really responds to this change. today, sofas have become the heart of the house, it occupies a space where you gather with family and friends and also works for watching movies or reading a book too. nowadays, they are also the place where people work because people are home. it’s a fascinating transformation on that typology of objects. it’s fun to play around with these new ways of creating something special for your homes.

 

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marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia
 
marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia
 
marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia
 
marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia
 
marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia
 
marcel wanders studio references an olive leaf in eufolia sofa for natuzzi italia
 

project info:

 

name: eufolia sofa

designed by: marcel wanders studio

company: natuzzi italia

part of: the circle of harmony — live the transition

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