Sofa or Sculpture? Nienkämper’s Heartbeat Sofa Pulls Off Both
Designed by Karim Rashid, the social, modular piece is a conversation starter in more ways than one.
Intended to facilitate conversation among its users, Heartbeat ended up being a conversation starter itself. Blue-chip designer Karim Rashid turned to Nienkämper, the Toronto-based legacy furniture company, to create the sofa’s characteristic undulating form. Heartbeat assembles a series of organically shaped units made of a rigid frame with a highly durable foam cover. It consists of three distinct seating elements—straight, concave, and convex—that can be endlessly reconfigured to suit any space.
To realize the sofa, Rashid and Nienkämper spent over a year seeking out the perfect materials and shapes, which were then produced using a large mold. “It was like a huge pancake machine,” comments Ann-Marie Snook, president of Nienkämper. “It’s a big piece, so it pushed the limits of everybody during the development process.” The result is a sculptural seat that enlivens spaces and allows effortless interaction and connection with others.
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