Spherical construction technology: Desforma’s Fluid, organic furniture
The Desforma range is quite unique in the world of design. It doesn’t make for an overheated mid-century modern environment or stark straight lines or no-nonsense functionalism in powdered steel. Desforma makes swirling, fluid lines and organic curves, sofas composed of sine waves that seem shaped by natural forces and summon swaying marine life, chairs that might have blossomed into existence.
The brand was founded in Lithuania in 1994 by Kestutis Spokas, who returned after spending time in the US working with designers and other creatives and taking in as much as the 80s and 90s art scene had to offer. Now he was determined to make his own mark in the world of design.
Furniture in perpetual motion
Spokas wanted to make furniture that could bring a unique energy to a space, forms that seemed almost in perpetual motion, “like looking at a fireplace,” says Spokas’ daughter and Desforma’s creative director, Brigitta Maria Spokaite-Norweiz. Shapes that were “dynamic that you just can’t stop looking at.”
Spokas recruited Lithuanian artisans and manufacturers and spent seven years perfecting the technology and processes to turn his vision into a practical, commercial reality. “It was a long journey,” he says, “because the structure had to be strong and durable. That was the hardest part.”
Spokas and his craftsmen finally perfected what Desforma calls “spherical construction technology” and the invention was certified. Spokas had found a way to make furniture with a kind of sculptural strength and a uniquely complex, sinuous interior architecture. “He never created anything static,” says his daughter.
London-based Spokaite-Norvaise grew up around her father’s designs and, after studying interior design, joined Desforma as designer and creative director in 2009. The company is still a family business.
The Desforma collection now includes 13 pieces, but the defining design of Desforma is perhaps the Amphora collection. Launched in 2003, it was the brand’s first spherical construction. “The collection is inspired by the Neolithic period,” says Spokaite-Norvaise. “It follows the form of an amphora vase. The grace and elegance of the historical work has been adapted to create this collection.”
Desforma has both private and contract customers, but the brand’s appeal is to anyone looking for furniture that can define a space that can become a captivating focal point. A piece like the Amphora corner sofa reveals something new from every angle, so the brand’s designs are particularly effective in large spaces where they can get the space they deserve and create their own kind of soft undulating landscape. Desforma imagines its designs not simply as furniture, but as collectibles, sculptural forms to be curated and carefully displayed.
All Desforma designs are still meticulously handcrafted in Lithuania. The bezels are hand-carved, without “CNC milling or 3D printing,” says Gordo Spokaite-Norvaise. She describes their internal skeletons as “a jewel made up of thousands of details.” However, Spokaite-Norvaise insists that comfort is never sacrificed for fluid molding. “Despite the dynamic design, the collection has a backrest that is shaped to follow the curve of the human back.”
If Desforma’s designs make a strong aesthetic statement, they are also human-shaped, creating a social space. The sofas curve, drawing people together in a protective huddle, creating an intimate energy. For all their attention-grabbing drama, these are works meant to be engaged with, enjoyed and loved to be around.