Vertical Village furniture

MVRDV and Belgian furniture label Sixinch have launched a furniture collection. A series of colourful, playful and enjoyable coated foam ‘houses’ which are a result of the Vertical Village research conducted by MVRDV.

Initially designed as sculpture pieces, the objects have become popular furniture and are now available online at www.vertical-village.com. They are to be displayed during Salone 2014 in Milan.

What started as a radical urban vision for the densification of the East Asian Metropolis has now turned into an iconic series of furniture, bringing vision and innovation to your home. The pieces are available in a wide variety of shapes and colours – allowing you to tailor your own personal Vertical Village. The product is flexible, waterproof, seamless, hygienic and comes in a range of striking and sophisticated colours. The objects are made of foam rubber with a PU coating, which is 100% recyclable and safe according to DIN EN71-3 standards for Children’s toys.

After the Vertical Village exhibition in Hamburg, a 4 meter tall installation made of 80 of these foam elements returned to the MVRDV offices, it was spontaneously used by the staff and visitors as furniture becoming part of office life. In daily changing settings it is used as seats, waiting lounge, playground, pedestal for models and even for the odd deadline powernap. And so a furniture collection was born as a by-product of urban research. The 26 objects are in the shape of houses proposed for the Vertical Village and one can sit, lounge, work and play. The coated foam is resilient and can withstand office life, family life and even outdoor use.

And why not put some unexpected architecture in an interior? A semi-detached house, a volume with a gap or a cloud shape? The objects are not furniture in the traditional sense, they are more experimental and appeal by being surprising: How does one use a soft house in a living room?

Under the title ‘The Vertical Village – Individual, Informal, Intense’ the research project explored the rapid urban transformation of East Asia, the qualities of urban villages, and the potential to develop much denser, vertical settlements as a radical alternative to the identical block-like architecture of standardised units and their consequences for city life. The research was exhibited in Taipei, Seoul, Sao Paulo and Hamburg, usually accompanied by a large sculpture of a possible Vertical Village. After metal and plastic shapes in Seoul and Taipei in Hamburg the foam was the best solution for the 4 meter tall sculpture, leading to this furniture application.

The furniture is available from April 7th online at www.vertical-village.com. The sculpture will be displayed at INTERNI’s Feeding New Ideas for the City, at Università degli Studi in Milan, in collaboration with Viabizzuno lighting.

The Vertical Village research has been made possible with the generous support of the City of Taipei, the JUT Foundation for Arts and Architecture Taipei and Delft University of Technology, The Why Factory. The objects are hand made by Sixinch in Belgium.

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