Sabine Marcelis creates candy-coloured donut seats for Hem

Sabine Marcelis creates candy-coloured donut seats for Hem

Sabine Marcelis and Hem unveil their ‘Boa’ pouf, two years in the making and a delightful play on the Rotterdam-based designer’s recurrent donut motif

Sabine Marcelis and Swedish furniture company Hem hit the sweet spot with their first collaboration, a pouf in the shape of a donut in pastel shades.

‘I have this fascination and love for the donut shape,’ explains Rotterdam designer Marcelis, who was named Wallpaper’s Designer of the Year in 2020 and joined the jury for the 2021 Design Awards. ‘It’s just such a perfectly complete and finite shape. Simple yet not boring. And the curve and void create a beautiful depth in almost all materials.’

The motif has been a recurring theme throughout Marcelis’ recent work, with rugs and toilet paper holders created by the designer using the shape in different sizes and configurations. Every Christmas, Marcelis sells resin donut shapes as decorations, often made from left-over resin from other projects, to raise funds for charitable organisations.

A portrait of Sabine Marcelis sitting on her yellow donut shaped Boa Pouf for Hem at her home in Rotterdam
Sabine Marcelis sits on her yellow donut-shaped ‘Boa’ pouf for Hem at her home in Rotterdam

The plush, foam-filled, round lounge seat is as aesthetically pleasing as it is ergonomically comfortable – both for sitting upright and lounging. It’s a duality that brings to mind Lina Bo Bardi’s ‘Bowl’ chair, whose double nature is updated here with a thoroughly contemporary aesthetic. 

‘I have this fascination and love for the donut: it’s just such a perfectly complete and finite shape’ – Sabine Marcelis

The pouf’s effortless appearance (as if it was simply inflated) took two years of development and roughly a dozen prototypes – the result fits in well with Hem’s progressive and experimental nature, and it’s a perfect debut for Marcelis’ within the company’s collection. The seat is available in candy-coloured hues of yellow, pink and white, upholstered to create a shape that is as perfectly smooth as possible. 

Sabine Marcelis donut pouf designs for Hem upholstered in pink, yellow and white
A trio of Marcelis’ ‘Boa’ poufs in candy shades of Sulfur Yellow, Cotton Candy and Oatmeal

In 2020, Hem presented a new brand identity by Made Thought, expressing the company’s forward-thinking approach, in line with its motto, ‘imaginative designs of obsessive quality’. The new collection certainly embodies the sentiment.

‘I wanted the pouf to be soft and pleasant to sit on,’ continues Marcelis. ‘The original design was finished in a rubber coating and meant for fleeting moments of sitting. The “Boa” pouf should be a seat where you can spend as much time on as you like.’ §

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