A Sofa That Visualizes The Stages Of Your Life

The Stockholm-based designer Gustav Segerstéen imagines two chairs forming a couch, just as two people partner up to start a family.

Our furniture choices tend to reflect our station in life: We trade in our futon for a real bed and the Ikea sofa for a nicer Ikea sofa, and then merge our stuff with our partner’s. But what if our furniture evolved as we matured, developing different uses to suit our needs? That was the departure point for Gustav Segerstéen, who imagined two solitary chairs merging to form a sofa, just as two people come together as a couple.


Called Take on Nature, the sofa bears signs of its former dual existence, with two seat backs and the middle chair legs receding and curling upward to become a shelf for storage. “I wanted the sofa to look unfinished and chose a stage where it would look the most interesting,” Segerstéen tells Co.Design. “I imagine it growing into a more common-looking sofa, with another chair growing as a new family member arrives.”

The Stockholm-based designer also added a drink tray (which he likens to a “tree mushroom”) on one of the armrests, while the other end is still mutating in preparation for the “new life that is on the way.” A reading light, with the electrical cord winding around its shaft like a climbing plant, extends up and over the back of the sofa.

Segersteen used only sustainable materials: wood for the seat frame, legs, and back support; a steel-wire frame for the backrest; and cotton fabric for upholstery. “As I built this with all the inspiration from nature,” he says, “I wanted to keep it natural and use natural, untreated materials.”

Call us cynical, but we imagined the sofa to be pulling apart, like a cell in the state of mitosis, rather than melding together. There are times, after all, when we need to get the hell away from our better halves, and a “loveseat” can feel downright confining. Which calls to mind another design from a few years back: Splinter, a wooden bench by Matthew Kroeker that perfectly illustrates the ups and downs of romantic relationships.

About the author

A former editor at such publications as WIRED, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company, Belinda Lanks has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New York Observer, Interior Design, and ARTnews.