The best design ideas are generated from the need to solve a problem, something which drew Seugnet Herbst to the discipline of interior design. It’s this challenge that got her to recreate the humble pouffe chair into a work of design magic.
Inspired by the origami principles of folding, the pouffe takes on a less traditional, more angular shape to become something of a reversible flower.
While the initial design was done for kids, she says that adults are most intrigued by her idea.
The design often reminds adult admirers of the fortune teller game they used to play as kids involving folding a piece of paper to create several sides that offer different choices of colours or numbers, the combination of which would lead to a cryptic message written into an inner fold.
‘[It] remind us of the child inside each one of us, adding to the playful element of the pouffe design.’
Made from natural canvas, an image of a protea is printed onto the fabric, and the design’s reversibility makes it feel like a flower blossoming. Medium density foam gives form to the pouffe, which Seugnet says, was designed to encourage the user to interact and have fun.
It was when she made contact with photographer Marguerite Oelofse, who helped her to find a focal point for the pouffe in the form of floral inspiration, that her idea really started coming together.
‘Each of our design visions contributed in such a way to emphasise the other’s [design] qualities and we knew at that moment we had to collaborate.’
The pair aim to create a range of pouffes to celebrate a variety of protea blossoms.
‘The range will be called “Suikerbossie” an Afrikaans synonym for our national flower and a term of endearment,’ she adds.
‘We are still in the prototyping phase, but the ultimate aim for production is finding a manufacturer that will share in my vision of empowering and equipping women of the local community as part of a social upliftment programme,’ Seugnet explains of her next challenge for taking her fun design forward.
Meet Seugnet and view her work at the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives exhibition, running from 17 to 21 February at the Watershed Mezzanine, V&A Waterfront.
Follow Seugnet on Instagram.