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Ross Didier: The Art of Lounging

We asked a few experts in the know, who design and supply some of our favourite lounging products, to share their thoughts on the future of lounging. Here, Ross Didier, Founder of Didier, explains his take on where lounging and seating is progressing.

Name: Ross Didier

Company: Didier

Year established: 2000

What lounge do you have at home and what is the story behind it? 

A Quoin three-seat lounge with arms sits in our kitchen and has become the favourite conversation seat while meals are being prepared. It forms part of a refined and slender upholstery range detailed with smart, geometric lines throughout the upholstery and raised up on unique leg supports that emphasises the clean minimalist form.

I originally designed this sofa range in 2008 with a panoramic view of metropolis skyscrapers as the inspiration and captured this concept in the group photograph of the Quoin collection including sofas, chairs and ottomans that create the city skyline.

Quoin was then promoted as tailored for architectural landscapes, which I enjoyed playing with, and the flexible lounge range offers a medium firmness for relaxed but formal seating supported on either solid oak legs or the engineered leg frames fabricated in stainless steel.

Which two lounging/seating products from your range are most important and why?

The Connected seating products and new Brydie collection are both designed and manufactured in Australia, and my two most important Didier lounge ranges to date.

I designed the original Connected range winning the Corporate Culture’s SAS Design Journey competition in 2006 so it was an interesting time with the Bouroullec brothers launching the Alcove sofa the same year at Milan. The Connected range includes a wide range of upholstery options for contract projects including formal lounge seating and high back booth seating so it was an early contender within this sector of working lounge spaces within spaces. The modular design has refined, classic shape with a quiet confidence expressing an intelligent mix of originality and modern appeal.

Brydie is my latest lounge design and embodies a luxurious character with generous comfort and contemporary proportions. I wanted to include a high end residential sofa within my collection, manufactured with premium quality in a relaxed and timeless aesthetic. The design was actually inspired while I was watching Brideshead Revisited that fascinates me with the intricate character studies and web of family ties so it was important the styling for this sofa range can be expressed from casual chic to classic tailoring.

Which lounging product from another brand/company do you admire and why? 

Anfibio sofa bed by Alessandro Becchi for Giovannetti and designed the year I was born in 1970. The 70s was such a fantastic decade for innovation and this lounge creation is a cult classic and multifunctional masterpiece. It can be used as a sofa, bed, floor pad and play pen for the kids – or a boxing ring depending on how they are getting along. What I love about this multipurpose design is the welcomed invite to come inside the home and sit on the floor.

Where is lounging/seating going in the future? What directions in technology, manufacture, material and form have you identified? 

I think of space in terms of objects so I see lounging becoming more defined as multifunctional, compressed interiors – the lounge becomes a haven to relax, a booth for conversation, a workspace for tasks or a cocoon to develop ideas. It becomes a stage for friends at home and a pocket to gather with family. It can also incorporate screen technology for presentations and layered surfaces to become an office.

I also see these lounging spaces for both inside and exterior as the traditional home use expands and is reinterpreted so maybe heating and cooling facilities will become integrated into these designs.

The materials used to make lounging will hopefully remain natural and ethically sourced as they are so enwrapped around the human body. I see the continued use solid plantation timbers and increasingly plywoods for the superior strength in fabrication and reduction of weight for those high rise installations. New and experimental developments for support cushioning, advancements in seating suspension and new fabrics made of 100 percent wools and cotton. New forms will follow new functions as lounging should be used however you want to.

Ross Didier