Salone del mobile 2024: Snøhetta introduces a new sofa concept for MDF Italia

18 June 2024


The norwegian design studio also introduces an expansion of the Volum collection for venetian light brand Lodes.

The constant interaction with a sometimes-extreme nature is a source of great solidity and concreteness but also of determination. Values that emerge from the words of Kjetil Thorsen, one of the founders of the Oslo-based design studio Snøhetta that works with companies all over the world.

In the recently concluded edition of the Salone del Mobile, among the projects presented there are also an expansion of the Volum lighting collection for Lodes and the Array sofa for MDF Italia: a modular concept thanks to which it is possible to configure a sofa with internal curves and external intended for private and contract spaces.

MDF Italia Array

What do you mean when you say: “Snøhetta is a place nobody is from, but anyone can experience”?

This term is used to illustrate the accessibility of the mountain top Snøhetta if you are willing to walk a bit. Yet no one has an address her, no one is born here, and no one has privatized the mountain.

This is also a metaphor for what we try to fulfill in the collective approach to projects and organization. No one has their personal name attached to our practice and our projects seek to be accessible to a wider public, combating urban segregation.

As a team, how do you approach a new project?

We follow our workshop methodology “idea work”. The workshop aims at creating conceptual springboards for projects in all disciplines. Participants in the workshop are asked to represent themselves, not their professions in these sessions, promoting transpositioning as a holistic design approach.

Photo credits: Shestakovych Studio | Giuseppe Romano

In your opinion, when designing the home environment, what are the things we need today? Designing homes for people today, as with any other building typology, needs to take real sustainability issues into account. Social, environmental, and economical sustainability are parameters of outmost importance and cannot be compromised. That said, there are of course emotional conditions and well-being that still need from focus, need to be continuously reinvented for people to become more sensitive to each other and their surroundings. Affect, behavior and cognition are all interconnected conditions.

What is your approach to sustainability?

As mentioned above, sustainability is at the core of the expanded complexity of the architectural profession. Sustainability does not replace any traditional elements of architecture but is a layer on top of all other issues, from aesthetics to function. Environmental sustainability needs to focus on life cycle analysis of embodied CO2.

From the production of materials, transport, construction site, energy consumption during use, production of renewable energy, maintenance to demolition and recycling of materials. The best we can do so far is to create CO2 neutral buildings calculated over a period of approximately 30 years. To capture CO2, we need landscapes and plants.

Thats why a holistic design approach is so important.  Including all biological contextual constraints as well as consciously reuse or material use becomes essential to how environmentally friendly, we need to act. Still, social sustainability is maybe even more necessary than ever. It creates the understanding, political stability, education, and inclusion of the public to reach environmental sustainability goals.

Varier Social® Turn

The studio is based in Oslo, what is your relationship with this city and how it reflects on your mentality?

Oslo is a great place to be. You can swim in the summer and ski in the winter. Spanning between the hills and the fjord is an asset enjoyed by us who live here as well as by visitors. It is not overcrowded yet it has the ambience of a city. Our office location by the fjord is an inspiration. Everything moves slowly by our windows allowing for peace at mind and the feeling of having enough time. Our welfare system provides safety but has not become a pillowcase. We still can take risk because of the safety net.

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