With an expression that is at once refined and modern, the Outline series brings an elegant approach to the traditional form of a sofa. We visited the studio of designers Anderssen & Voll in Oslo’s Grünerløkka neighborhood to learn more about the Outline design.
Torbjørn Anderssen and Espen Voll of Norwegian-based design studio Anderssen & Voll often finish each other’s sentences, both in conversation and in design, without paying any thought to it. Speaking on their approach to design, Espen says: “Our ideas often come from a hunch or gut feeling and the design process springs from that,” with Torbjørn adding: “To us, design is about making a connection between the design and its user. You can compare it to falling in love with another person—you can’t talk yourself into yet; it has to intuitively trigger something in you.”
Having worked in Norway for all of their life, the values of Scandinavian design are present throughout the designs of Anderssen & Voll: “Scandinavian design is about making accessible products with a calm yet new aesthetic,” says Torbjørn before adding: “Me and Espen often discuss what makes a design valid. We believe that good design has several layers of meaning and as you develop as a person, you discover new layers that make the design relevant once more.”
When looking at the Outline sketches, the first thing springing to the minds of Torbjørn and Espen is one word: unique. “We began with the traditional shape of a sofa and played with the proportions of different elements, slimming down the cushions and bringing a modern expression to the design. It gave the sofa an at once grand and elegant expression,” says Torbjørn.
Seated in the studio’s Outline Sofa, upholstered in silk cognac leather, Espen notes: “The design hints towards modern architecture, which is very its sculptural look takes its inspiration from. It has a strong outside with sharp lines that complements the soft inside of rounded cushions, opening the design towards its viewer.”
In the fall of 2017, a Studio version of the Outline design was introduced: “The Outline Studio came about as a response to the new ways of living, where many people live in smaller homes. The Outline Studio goes in hand with the compact spaces of modern living while being a match for hotel rooms, restaurants and other professional settings,” mentions Espen.
Noting how the Outline Studio design gives the series a more accessible character, Torbjørn ends: “Scandinavian design is meant for everyone. We want to create useful products that are relevant for years to come — this is an essential aspect of the Outline design.”