Published on October 26th, 2009

furniture for Schlarafia | status:ongoing


Schlarafia are local manufactures of quality mattresses whose business has been around since 1934. This year they have decided to expand into the furniture commerce by establishing their own bed line. Their business plan is targeting international market and their product is bound to compete for high end customers. They have identified a successful design as an added value to this product and have entrusted this work to us.

It’s not an easy task to design a bed. Somehow, it always ends up being a box. If you start with the mattress dimensions and think of the wrap for it, it will be a box. In addition, there are several other things to be considered. It is convenient to have storage underneath the bed. Some people like to read newspapers in bed and for them, it is of the utmost importance to include a back to lean on when in the seating position. Corners are good to avoid as they are hazardous to kids or adults. Wood, as a natural substance, is regarded particularly well as a material for anything that will go into the bedroom. Mattress should be slightly, but not too much, taller then the frame, simply for comfort.

With all this in mind we have come up the proposal, a solution whose geometry seamed to be acceptable to everybody in our design time which at that team included four architect, Schlarafia director, their brand manager and sails personnel. Filleted edges, in particular, have suited what Schlarafia had in mind.

schlarafia prototip

Subsequently we did the prototype out of solid wood. It was fairly straightforward affair with all components cut on CNC machine in no time. Filleted edges were done out of layers, and doubly curved segment connecting the sides and the back of the bad was done manually. A standard scissor mechanism was added to provide for easy access the storage space. And mate black finish was applied before the bed was displayed at the furniture fair in Belgrade. In a way, the product was complete and ready for the mass production.

The response is very good, Schlarafia are very happy with the design and their new product line. However throughout the fair and in conversation with the Schlarafia establishment, we have heard many suggestions on what should have been done differently even though overall design was always regarded as satisfactory. Individual preferences were typically related to height and the inclination of the back, mattress to frame relation, storage height and fillet radius. So we looked back at how the form was designed and at its key characteristics in the attempt to establish a topological model which would be offered to customers for their individual optimization. In a structure of a website or some other interactive interface customers will be able to design their own bed, with the change of key parameters. We think that such design guidelines will only help customers reach complete satisfaction.

Once the choice on the screen has been made, an automated procedure converts the desired form into the segments ready for the workshop and subsequent assemblage at customers homes. In a sense this would be our interpretation of the mass customization concept.

credits///design: 4of7///Dimitrije Radosavljevic, Milutin Cerovic, Vladimir Pavlovic, Djordje Stojanovic