1989 - sofa - ligne roset
Jean Nouvel’s first public product line is a sofa inspired by the streamlined profile of aeroplane wings. It is composed of a seat made from polyurethane skin foam over a frame of lacquered steel, with legs in moulded aluminium. A high, adjustible back, upholstered in Dacron, is grafted onto the sofa.
“When I designed this seat, which has been described as a sort of homage to Jean Prouvé, I was interested in the idea of stripping down existing concepts. I was looking to proceed by elimination. I wanted the structure to be integrated into each part of the sofa. I wanted to have a single material that was practically glued to this profile and to not keep reproducing the system of frame, plus foam, plus fabric, plus side mechanism. I felt like giving the whole thing more muscle. If in the end the seat is hard, that’s because its initial function was to be a piece of furniture used by the community, a bench for the public. But there was also a mistake in the manufacturing process. The foam on top should have been a lot softer. I think that at the time it was the biggest module ever made in skin foam. From a technical point of view the product was fairly advanced, but actually Roset had a lot of trouble making the skin continuous, without any rough patches. Maybe over time they’ll manage to give it back a bit of suppleness, otherwise the form becomes a contradiction and it will be like being on a wooden bench.”