The design process behind the Floyd pieces you love.
When prototyping a new mechanism, sometimes we find that something we use every day can be a starting point for a new prototype. Sometimes the simplest things around you are actually very intentional pieces of design that once you take a deeper look are very clever mechanisms. This week we’ve been working on a way to secure our bookshelf to the wall. These are still very early prototypes, but this is something we want to make 110% works in preventing any tip over. When thinking of how we could use a nylon strap to hold the bookshelf to the wall, we noticed the simple buckle on a backpack strap that allows you to easily adjust the length, but once it’s in position, is impossible to pull loose. We then thought about how we could replicate this simple system into our wall anchor. We’re still working through all the details of this component, but take a look at some photos below.
We’re still prototyping, but getting closer to a final design. Heres’s a couple of shots from our recent proto where we’re testing a new structural system.
We’re cooking up some new prototypes in the lab today.
We have received a quite a few inquiries about the cushions on the new Floyd Sofa, with people wondering how the cushions stay in place. The short answer is that the cushions stay right where they’re supposed to – no sliding! The long answer is this: The design of the sofa features a flat main seat platform, the reason for this was so we could use all the same legs for the sofa, which keeps the design sleek, while streamlining our production process. Most couches and sofas you’ve probably sat in have either springs or webbing that help you to ‘sink in’ to the sofa while you sit. Instead of going this route, we designed a special ‘foam well’ – a layer of seating foam built into the seat platform that helps you to ‘sink in’ when you sit, without springs that wear out over time or squeak. This foam well, along with a snug fit between the cushions in the frame of the Sofa, and friction between the fabric on the cushions and the fabric on the seat help to keep the cushions right in place – no sliding or slipping off over time! The cushions are also extremely comfortable!
Ever since we launched with The Floyd Leg, we’ve been keen on avoiding the need for tools to assemble our products. It’s something we’ve long believed in, and for good reason. Tools can be a hassle – not everyone has tools at home, the tools included with products are often cheaply made and easy to loose, and they imply the use of tiny screws and other frustrating bits of hardware. Stepping back a bit, the core idea behind the assembly of our products is that it should be intuitive – just a few simple steps to repeat to complete assembling our products – and for our bed and table products, that’s been the case. While designing the Sofa, this was no different. We sought to make this the world’s most take-apart-able sofa – and it is! But it’s also very easy to put together (we do recommend having a friend help, though!). However, to make the design as beautiful as possible, we opted to use hex-drive screws to attach the arm and back panels of the sofa. This allows the connections to be flat, so you won’t feel it through the arm and back cushions. To attach these screws, you do need a hex key. But instead of just including an off-the-shelf tool, which we could have easily done, we decided to make this a special Floyd Tool – it includes the hex key needed for assembly, but also doubles as a bottle opener (so, if you want a cold carbonated, or even fermented beverage after putting together your sofa, you have what you need for that too). Finished in our bright red and stamped with our logo, you’ll want to keep this this one around in case you do move and need to take apart your sofa, but in the mean time, keep it in your kitchen and use whenever you need to crack a cold drink (you can also use the 4mm hex key for any other application!).
Here are a few pics from the development of The Floyd Tool:
Testing production samples for tolerance fit yesterday.
A couple of snaps from the development of the packaging for the Sofa Chaise legs..
..Chris. He’s working on something today
While researching the best fabric to use for The Floyd Sofa, we wanted something that would be super easy to clean, but also environmentally and health safe. The fabric we chose has a stain-resistant technology, which means our fabrics go great with coffee, wine, or ice cream. All that’s needed to clean most spills is a damp rag and a bit of soapy water. But how does this all work, and is it safe for consumers?
The strands of the polyester fabric are coated with a stain-resistant treatment before being woven into the fabric that you can find on our sofa’s cushions. This special coating prevents any liquids from penetrating the fibers of the fabric itself, allowing you to simply wipe away any spill the cushions may encounter.
One type of question our Customer Experience team often hears when we are launching new products is, “are there any harmful chemicals in the product?” With all of our products, we strive to make them as safe and environmentally friendly as possible – that’s why we use CARB-2 certified plywood on all of our bed and table products, and why we chose the all-natural linoleum for the surface of our tables.
When designing the world’s first Floyd Sofa then, we kept this top-of-mind. But a sofa has cushions, and fabric, a new territory for us. We reached out to a close partner to help develop and advise us on this part of the design. We chose our fabric because of its soft, comfortable feel, its stain-resistance, and its shorter chain C6 fluorocarbon-based treatment.
What was that last part? Similar to Patagonia’s Durable Water Repellent, we chose a shorter-chain C6 fluorocarbon-based treatment because it breaks down faster over time and is less harmful for the environment. This means the fabric is virtually spill-proof (try for yourself with our swatches!), all while having a lower impact on the environment both inside and outside of your home.
As with all our products, we continue to seek the highest quality, most sustainable materials possible — The Floyd Sofa is no exception. We believe that furniture should be made for the home, not the landfill — but if one our pieces ends up in the landfill then we want it to have the least impact on the environment.
We’ve been working through deciding the final radii details on the sofa legs and arm panels. We put one of our iPhones on the panel while mocking up two leg prototypes and noticed a nice comparison of the iPhone rad’s and the panels/legs.