Danish furniture company Takt has launched a sofa made with mono-materials and designed by Anderssen & Voll to be fully repairable.
The sofa is Takt’s first and follows the principles of the company’s new Perpetual Sustainable Design code, led by its belief that “furniture should be loved, cared for and handed down”, which is why “all of its furniture is designed for repair”, Espen Voll explains. The launch follows a recent announcement from the European Commission of a “right to repair” with the view of facilitating the development of a circular economy and saving consumers costs.
When Anderssen & Voll met with Takt in 2019, the Norwegian design duo say they were impressed with the design-led company’s commitment to “sustainability and accountability”. Voll says that “eco-design should not be seen as a separate discipline” and instead should be integrated into the work of all designers.
Anderssen & Voll was challenged with designing a modular piece of furniture “that would appear to be a unified whole once assembled”, says Torbjørn Anderssen. While most sofas are made using “upholstered frames standing on legs or sitting directly on the floor”, the Spoke Sofa has been developed in “a completely different way”, he adds. The sofa takes its name from the wooden spokes that form the backrest, following a technique that was used to create flat surfaces across English and Scandinavian utility chairs for centuries, the designers explain.
Its modular design means that broken or damaged parts can be easily replaced, aiming to extend its lifespan. As it is constructed using exposed mechanical fixings instead of glue, it can be taken apart with simple tools. Customers will have access to a support team which will help them with purchasing replacement parts from the Takt Spare Parts shop, should they need them.
Takt is in the process of making this offering available for all its products via customer service. If “an alternative material with better environmental credentials” becomes available, Voll says that the Spoke Sofa’s modular design means the new material can be incorporated “without significant changes to either the product or the manufacturing process”.
Available in beech or oak, the sofa’s frame is made from EU-grown solid wood, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This means that forests where the material is grown are given time to “naturally regenerate, local wildlife is sustained and worker conditions are guaranteed”, says Anderssen. Because the surfaces are treated with natural, white-pigmented oil, pure oil or water-based lacquer, damage to the surface can be infinitely repaired by “applying light sandpaper and a new oil treatment”, he adds.
Takt and Anderssen & Voll used custom-designed mono-materials for the sofa padding rather than non-recyclable composites traditionally used, allowing it to be easily recycled at the end of its life. The mono-material foam is then wrapped with Danish textile brand Gabriel’s 100% recycled Cyber or 98% recycled Cura upholstery.
All the Spoke Sofa materials have an EU Ecolabel, ensuring that “every stage in the process reduces its impact on the environment”, says Anderssen.
Voll describes the sofa’s aesthetic as a “timeless, emotionally durable design that has not followed trends”, chosen so it will not go out of fashion in a few years’ time. Anderssen adds that it refers to “classic Danish furniture but has coalesced to create a form that evokes the attitude of contemporary Japanese aesthetics”.
The Spoke Sofa will retail for £1819, which Takt claims is a mark-up of two times cost price rather than an industry average of 5-7 times. Takt provides a cost breakdown, alongside climate reports, for all products because it believes in “radical transparency from production to transport to pricing”, says Voll.
“Takt prices things fairly, so you don’t pay more than needed for good quality, but also so you pay enough to fairly support workers, sourcing materials in sustainable ways, and building a business that is able to sustain itself”, Voll adds.