Furniture comes in all shapes, sizes, and levels of complexity. Some can be as simple as wooden planks glued or screwed together to form a chair, while others can be as elaborate as a piece of sculptural art paying homage to art movements of the past. As designs grow more complex and sophisticated, the number of parts and connections also grow, leading to a product that could be harder to assemble, move, or repair. Wouldn’t it be dandy if you could have a somewhat non-trivial piece of furniture that was simply held together with a strap? Of course, it still has to actually be stable, not to mention comfortable, and that’s exactly the proposition that his sandwich-inspired sofa is putting on the table, or the floor, rather.
Designer: Joao Teixeira
Admittedly, this bulky sofa looks nothing like the burger that it’s named after. Not unless you define a burger as a sandwich whose thin buns have toppled over, spilling its voluminous content on the floor. The way its body is wrapped and held together by a wide strap almost makes it look more like a messy piece of sushi than a sandwich. Whatever kind of food it makes you think of, the Burger sofa has already fulfilled its purpose in catching your attention.
What looks like a single wide chair or narrow couch is actually made up of four large cushions joined together by a single strap-like structure. People have, of course, tried numerous times to pile pillows and cushions together into something more spacious and have failed just as many times. Without anything to really bind them together, a fortress of soft bags is really nothing more than a castle built on shaky foundations, ready to fall apart at any given moment.
The strap that keeps the four cushions together isn’t a simple single piece of material, though. Curved pieces of wood embrace the two cushions that make up the armrests, giving not only stability to the composition but also some form of protection. These two wide arms are joined together by narrower straps of leather that have just the right balance of tautness and flexibility to keep everything from falling apart. Plus, it adds a nice visual and material accent to the sofa, giving it a stylish flair.
One might wonder, however, why one would bother tying up four cushions to make a sofa. Beyond just a design and materials experiment, Burger brings a unique style of modularity to the furniture scene. Depending on how easy or difficult it really is to undo and redo the straps, moving the sofa to another location is a simple case of disassembling and reassembling the furniture. There are no screws or glues involved, and presumably, no tools are needed either.
Despite being made of four distinct parts (five if you count the belt), the Burger sofa still looks as comfortable as any other couch with big cushions. The design also offers flexibility, with a two-seater version possible with a longer strap. Whether the design will survive the typical wear and tear of long-term use is a different question entirely, but the concept definitely has enough merits to warrant testing its mettle.