Revolutionizing Space with Berliner: A Multifunctional Pouf by Tugce Sonmez Evin

Award-Winning Design Marries Functionality and Aesthetics in Compact Living Spaces

In a world where space is a luxury, Tugce Sonmez Evin's Berliner stands out as a smart solution. This multifunctional pouf, inspired by the famous German pastry, is designed to save space while offering enhanced functionality and aesthetic appeal.

Named after its resemblance to the German pastry, Berliner is a large round pouf with a solid wood container unit in the middle. It's designed to store and display magazines, books, and other items in a practical and appealing way. The idea was to create a seating furniture piece with enhanced functionality for waiting lounges, offices, and houses. The wooden core is hand-carved on a turning lathe and upholstered with faux fur for a soft velvety touch, completed with two brass rings emphasizing the separation between different materials.

The production process of Berliner started with 3D printing of scaled versions of various initial forms to better evaluate the proportions. Once the proportions were set, the actual production began. The wooden core and pouf frame were hand-carved on a turning lathe from laminated wood blocks, the seating foam was hand-sculpted and upholstered. The brass rings were bent by hand and welded to fit tight. All production was a close collective work of three ateliers working with different materials. While the initial production was finished by hand, the design is suitable to be produced by CNC machines.

The Berliner interacts with the user by serving an unexpected additional function. The pouf collects occasionally used items and displays them for the user to easily see and reach. The curved nest-like form of the wooden container provides good visibility for the objects stored while securely keeping them in place. This feature makes the design a practical asset as a waiting lounge seating furniture.

The project started in February 2022 and finished in May 2022, and was exhibited in the SaloneSatellite exhibition of Salone del Mobile in June 2022. The main function of the pouf is to be seated, and ergonomics was a significant concern while developing the design. Softness of the seating unit, curve radius of the edges, height, and achieving an evenly weight distribution while being seated were the main objectives of the research process.

The main challenge was to achieve a reasonable weight while making a sturdy furniture piece with a wooden core. For that reason, the inner frame of the pouf is made out of laminated blocks by leaving the middle hollow, and the core is made of Ayous tree for its lightweight and ease of application. The design is separated into two halves as top and bottom for secure and easy transportation. The top part is locked by a central rod placed onto the bottom by simply rotating the upper half of the pouf.

For its innovative design and functionality, Berliner was awarded Silver in A' Furniture Design Award in 2023. This prestigious award is rewarded to top-of-the-line, creative, and professionally remarkable designs that illustrate outstanding expertise and innovation. These designs, admired for their strong technical characteristics and splendid artistic skill, showcase a remarkable level of excellence and introduce positive feelings, amazement, and wonder.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Tugce Sonmez Evin
Image Credits: Image #1: Photographer Mehmet Arslan Image #2: Photographer Mehmet Arslan Image #3: Photographer Mehmet Arslan Image #4: Photographer Tugce Sonmez Evin Image #5: Photographer Max Artbovich
Project Team Members: Tugce Sonmez Evin
Project Name: Berliner
Project Client: Tugce Sonmez Evin

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