My friend has a name for those sofas you see sitting at the curb. Those sofas that have been disposed of, thrown out, retired, no longer part of the family. My friend calls these sofas, ‘Marshmallow Sofas’. Long since abandoned these sofas are all swollen and puffy from sitting many days (or weeks) out in the rain. I am sure you have seen one of these Marshmallow Sofas; sad-looking creatures.
But these are not the real Marshmallow Sofas. The first Marshmallow sofa was designed in 1956 by George Nelson and Irving Harper and was officially known as the Marshmallow love seat #5670. The designers were approached by an inventor who had created an injection plastic disc that he insisted could be produced inexpensively and would be durable. The designers took a look and arranged 18 of them on a steel frame – the origin of the Marshmallow sofa! Truly a landmark of modern design. The inventor’s cushions turned out to be impractical so when the Marshmallow Sofa was manufactured the cushions were covered in fabric, vinyl, or leather in bright colours. Mostly all the cushions were the same color, but the sofa could also be ordered with cushions of various colors for a truly fun appearance. A 1957 catalogue described the sofa’s playful design, “Despite its astonishing appearance, this piece is very comfortable”. Fifty five years later, the curvy and fun Marshmallow Sofa is still turning heads and making people smile!
Image via Herman Miller