William, the sense of comfort


Design by Damian Williamson

What is the key element in the design project of an upholstered item? What does a designer keep in mind when he approaches the creation of a sofa for an industry? Damian Williamson, author of the new series William, responds with two basic “recipes”: «In the first place there is the meeting with the project and this centres on what I call “the sense of touch”. A sofa, or an armchair, must tell the user: touch me. The immediate perception of comfort is important. Then we come to the second experience of the project: aesthetics and proportions. At this point we find relations with materials, which belong to the world of the company that commissions the work or that wants to send a design in for production.» The series William, presented at the Furniture Fair 2010, is already a success. People like it because it has the right combination of elements of modern tradition, because it is both minimal and rich, it can be customized, and it is decidedly comfortable. «William issues from the idea of de-structuring sofas into ‘comfort layers’, not just visually but in practice, starting from the structural elastic bottom layer, moving on to a central layer of polyurethane foam and, finally, to an ultra soft top layer made of goose down. The three layers entice the user to establish physical relations with the sofa. From the first glance they declare what they are made of and their capacity to hold the body comfortably. Moreover, they sustain the back rest and seem to float on die cast aluminum legs,» says the British designer, who today works in Stockholm. William has a steel frame with elastic strips springing and polished aluminum alloy feet; the armrest cushion (option) is padded with 100% pure goose down; the fixed internal cover is in nylon – cotton for cushions -, while the external removable cover is made of fabric or leather. The collection includes armchair, sofas, pouf and day bed. The modular version is designed for linear modularity or corner solutions.