At Salone: Shift Sofa

Check out Shift by Bjorn Meier Designs, one of the pieces featured in the “Made in Berlin” segment of the Salone Internazionale del Mobile.

Shift Sofa. Designed by Bjorn Meier Designs.

Of simple bentwood construction with upholstered polypropylene foam, Shift is a true conversation piece, literally and figuratively, since, according to Mr. Meier, “the angled seating generates a face-to-face situation, encouraging conversations.” This feature is refreshing, given that so many furnishing arrangments seem to neglect this crucial aspect.

Shift is also semi-modular—”a variety of constellations can be provided by combining several Shift units in different arrangements.” The sofa’s slim profile and light weight make it easy to move around. Capitalize on this feature to create a given ambience for every whim—form an inclusive circle by positioning two units symetrically, which would give everyone equal “face time,” or situate them slightly askew to make an ironic (and so very postmodern) statement about our inability to connect on an interpersonal level.

This gesture towards a purposeful asymmetry in arrangement is an emerging trend in contemporary design (see the Do Chair), and if executed with aplomb, can be both playful and visually arresting. In the case of Shift, an ironic arrangment is especially apt, given the beliefs of certain German philosophers, some of whom made a career out of asserting that man is woefully alone in the universe. So depending on your mood, Shift allows you to indulge. Whether you use its features to create inclusivity—which might be right for an afternoon of high tea among diplomats and debutantes discussing the enlightenment philosophy of Kenneth Burke—or to make a gesture toward exclusion, which would lend itself to late nights sipping Viennese coffee and Absinthe among black turtle-necked intellectuals and anarchists—Shift fits the bill.

Leave a Reply