I love design that challenges expectations. Particularly as ideas about what constitutes green or environmentally-sensitive furniture become ever more beholden to interpretation, it’s nice to see an ecologically-conscious piece with a new slant on sustainability. Just so with manufacturer Mr. Simon and Cóm-oda. The inherent sustainability of this handsome piece resides in its clever functionality.
Cóm-oda. Designed by Aarón Feliú and Ignacio Frías. Manufactured by Mr. Simon.
Mr. Simon’s Cóm-oda is One Part Desk, Six Parts Chair, and 100% Smart Design
Cóm-oda takes the idea of convertible furniture to a new level, as the prestidigitation inherent in this piece will surprise even the most seasoned of A&D conjurors. At first glance, Cóm-oda appears as just another attractive antique writing desk.
However, closer inspection shows that the elegantly curved legs and finely carved details are a graphical print. And even closer inspection reveals that the whole ensemble is actually a neatly compressed row of folding chairs.
In conceiving of Cóm-oda, lead designers for Mr. Simon—Aarón Feliú and Ignacio Frías—set out to create a multi-purpose furnishing that also cut down on the use of floor space: “Cóm-oda is a set of folding chairs that, when they are not in use, form a new element of furniture. In this way we try to give them another function.”
That function is fun as well as pragmatic. By creating these six wood and cotton chairs that easily fold into a multi-purpose bench, the design duo has successfully explored the limits of transformable furniture. They’ve also reduced the need for superfluous storage space—which translates as a reduced building footprint and, in turn, conservation of resources.
About the Manufacturer: Mr. Simon is a Valencia, Spain-based product design and graphics firm with a most unusual name. Mr. Simon is also the combined collaborative effort of designers Aarón Feliú and Ignacio Frías. And, most importantly, Mr. Simon is “a character made up of all the ideas and efforts of the members of the team… Mr. Simon uses experimentation as a tool to explore new forms of communication.” As concerns the output of Mr. Simon, those new forms find tangible expression in innovative, surprising, and fascinating furnishings like the Deparquet coat hooks and the Inestable table.