Design

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Bates Y&R design the ultimate modular couch

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If sitting was an olympic sport, I'd probably be up there on the podium every four years without fail. As such, finding the perfect couch (or sofa or settee depending on your preference) has always been something of a bucket list goal for me. Thankfully, Bates Y&R appear to have answered my prayers with their new collaboration with Danish furniture designer Isabel Ahm and TV service provider Boxer TV, which has been described as the ultimate TV couch. The couch in question is a unique modular construction simply called “Habits,” and it is already well on its way to fulfilling its Kickstarter goal.

Introducing Habits

The idea behind the design was to create a couch that was perfectly in sync with the habits of the modern lounger. The modular construction means that it can be altered at a moments notice to suit whatever situation you might need to for, be it sleeping, eating, watching TV, playing video games or building a little fort! Ahm's design is based on a qualitative study that used photographs of Danes relaxing in their sofa environments, with Boxer TV supporting the studies with a comprehensive population survey. The study shows that Danish TV viewers use their couches in a variety of ways. For example, 30% are not against taking food to the couch, while 25% like to take a nap and more than half of them prefer to watch TV with others.

Bates Y&R has collaborated with Danish furniture designer Isabel Ahm and TV service provider Boxer TV to create the ultimate TV couch

Ahm said: ”My starting point as a designer is to create solutions to a problem. As I began to look more closely at the way we behave when we watch TV, the problem became obvious. The evolution of the couch hasn’t really kept up with the technological evolution and the way we socialise in the 21st century. We still gather around the TV. But ever since laptops, tablets and smartphones have joined the family we haven’t really made them feel at home in the couch.” Philip Philipson from Boxer TV, added: ”When the idea for the project arose, we were quick to see the opportunities, especially with this quirky idea. For us, this is about being able to offer consumers something beyond the usual and to meet their need for freedom of choice.”

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A selection of Habits Modules

Habits is described as being not only more adaptable, but taller than most couches, so it should be easy for everyone in the family to sit down and get up again in comfort. The cushions in the back allow users to sit comfortably while sitting in an upright position, but can be moved so there is plenty of room to lie down, and can even be used for neck or back support. The armrest, meanwhile, is designed for 2nd screens, so you can store your laptop, Tablet, remote controls or newspapers inside the armrest. The table can be rotated 360 degrees, and you can use it as a work desk, a small table or as a platform to place (for example) your computer or food. It's also charger friendly, as you can place your phone, tablet or laptop charger in the storage box and lead the cord out through a specially designed hole at the back, so that devices can be charged efficiently when not in use. Ahm has also worked on attaining what she calls “The optimal form and springiness, so that your body gets the best support and you can stay comfortable in the couch for as long as you want.”

The idea behind the design was to create a couch that was perfectly in sync with the habits of the modern lounger

A Habits couch will consist of 8 different modules, which can be taken apart and put back together in a variety of configurations, which means buyers can essentially design their own couch on the fly according to their needs and habits. Boxer also helped Ahm to get this project up and running by creating a Habits prototype, but as with many other designers, entrepreneurs and artists, she is now asking people to back the project by funding it or helping to spread the word. Honestly I don't think I've ever wanted a piece of furniture more in my entire life! If you're interested (and why wouldn't you be?) the Kickstarter is still active for another 58 days. I'm genuinely tempted.

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3D concept art featuring various possible Habits configurations

Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer, struggling musician and lifelong lounging enthusiast from Kidderminster in the UK.

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