The experimental design of Meike Harde

Zieharsofika combines a new method of upholstery and ornamental design

by Antonella Fraccalvieri
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DESIGN_The 25 years old German designer Meike Harde focuses her work on several aspects. In some products she intents an experimental-constructive basis whereas she is looking for allegoric-conceptual approach in other projects. Consistently she devotes herself to textile materials or applications. There by she tries to re-think the common manufacturing technologies and construction guidelines: She studies the behavior and rules of the particular material to apply the conclusions in new construction possibilities in upholstery, lighting or other furniture.


Her design vocabulary moves between reduction and ornament. Particularly in the textile section she is looking out for strong ornament. This, however, she does not achieve by using patterned materials. Instead she constructs the ornament out of the form by using a well-directed pattern. Undoubtful her designs show a kind of female style which can be realized as a contrast to the established shapes.


Zieharsofika should show new methods of upholstery construction, aiming to create a stiff cushion from a flat foam mat. By re-thinking cushioning techniques, the project uses conventional rubber foam mats which, with the help of elastic bands, come out as an ornamental form. The rectangular foam mat remains at a stretch and is only changed by layering and gathering it.


The benches and stools translate the beauty of a controlled drapery into a bigger dimension. Compared to common upholstery products natural wrinkles are often hidden by a complicate construction. At the same time the connection to the wooden stool should be integrated into the construction.


This combines two steps of making and avoids a permanent connection between foam and wood. The cushions are fixed to the wooden foodstool construction just by their elastic rubber bands. This design avoids permanent connections between the foam and the wood, making it easy to replace cushions when they become worn. Only three components (foam, rubber band and wood) are used to make assembling fast and simple.

Courtesy: Meike Harde

Zieharsofika 2


Germany / 2012