Most sofas are designed for one way of sitting, in a perfectly unnatural right angle. The truth is, we lounge, we slouch, we sleep on sofas—we do anything but sit in an upright position. Now a couch actually acknowledges that fact, and without looking like something better suited for a dorm room.
Swiss designer Alexander Rehn created the Cay Sofa concept to not only accommodate the various postures we assume, but to anticipate them. The couch appears to be fixed in one position, yet depending on where someone sits on it, the form slowly folds or shifts to provide support like a piece of giant origami.
There’s no real magic to the sofa’s design—it’s not a La-Z-Boy power recliner!—just a series of well-placed hinges and angled legs that allow the couch to shapeshift. Looking at his sketches, Rehn had to experiment with both the shapes and sizes of the cushions as well as the length of the legs underneath to design for each potential couch movement. It’s even more impressive when viewed in the context of Rehn’s other furniture work, all studies in surfaces that bend just enough to hold books or people without flattening or collapsing.
Of course, judging from the video, the sofa’s best intentions are not always the way that the user wants to go, which also makes it into a bit of an icebreaker for the living room. Many times people will sit or lie down, only to discover that the sofa is already guiding them toward a more efficient way of reclining. But after a few seconds of adjustment, when they finally settle in a spot, you can see that it’s already become more comfortable than how they first set out to sit. It’s more like a sofa that works with its user to find the best solution for both of you.