Discover Irving Harper: the man behind the Marshmallow Sofa.
In the design and art world, there are many creatives that remain not enough appreciated. And Irving Harper is the proof.
Harper was the mind behind iconic designs from the mid-century modern furniture era — mainly as an employee of industrial designers like George Nelson and Herman Miller. A great part of his work was just credited to him late in his life even tho the impact he had on both companies remains relevant 'til this day.
The former Nelson Office's design director crafted pieces, such as the Marshmallow Sofa, that helped shift how furniture is seen.
The story behind this design is quite curious, as Harper (at the time a young designer at Nelson's company) was approached by an inventor who had created a durable injection plastic disc that he insisted could be produced inexpensively. With that pitch, the two designers arranged 18 disks side-by-side on a steel frame.
The inventor's cushions turned out to be a failure, but their idea of floating cushions was so intriguing they had to do a leather version of it.
Even tho every leather design is easy to clean, this sofa takes it further since every single cushion can be taken off the structure for better cleaning. Practicality king.
Quickly turned into a Pop Art iconic furniture, the Marshmallow Sofa represented what Harper's work would mean for the rest of his career: simple solutions that no one dared to think of.
Tap here to know why the Genesis leather armchair is the synthesis of boldness.