Massproductions’ Chris Martin on why they invite anyone to build its chaise longue (almost) for free
Along with the release of the new 4PM, the Swedish design brand also launches 4PM Self Build, where you build a chaise longue yourself with the help of drawings and materials from your local hardware store.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
March 21, 2022
Initially, 4PM was about creating high comfort from a hard material — Douglas fir or, the slightly darker, fine grain and cherry. From above, its profile tapers towards the footrest, which enables the feet to fall comfortably on both sides, something that also simplifies getting in or out. The design language is a combination of curved and flat parts and has been designed to provide the best possible comfort.
— We named the chaise longue 4PM, as it is the perfect time to sit back and enjoy a cup of tea. It’s a perfect place to put your feet up in the afternoon or any other time of day, says co-founder and chief designer Chris Martin, continuing,
— I have created two versions of a chaise longue. One is a ’real’ piece of furniture, produced in a factory and available to order, the other a less polished version that you can build yourself with basic materials and tools.
In 1974, the Italian designer Enzo Mari released his book Autoprogettazione, consisting of drawings for 19 pieces of furniture that you can build yourself. Mari is one of Chris Martin’s great design heroes and this is where the idea for 4PM Self Build was raised.
— Enzo Mari’s design was on another level. He was careful not to pollute the world with objects. He did not present anything that could not be justified as a long-lasting product. He had a talent that inspires you. Building something yourself gives a completely different feeling, you value the furniture more. Maybe it reminds you of building models as a child? It is a satisfaction in the work. Even if you have clear instructions, you can customize the furniture and personalize it as you wish.
Instructions and drawings for 4PM Self Build can be downloaded free of charge from Massproductions’ website, which also sells a kit containing a headrest in Sørensen Leather, a Massproductions branding plate, a certificate, and feet. The material for the furniture can be purchased from your local hardware store across Europe and the US for around €50 and up, depending on the material chosen.
How come that you offer the customer to create his or her own?
— A chaise longue is very much a luxury item, it’s something you can easily live without and requires a spacious home, Martin explains. I was feeling a bit guilty about making an undemocratic piece so I decided to make it available to all by publishing instructions online for a self-build version. This version is based on the prototypes I made to analyze the comfort for the production version, so it’s a nice way to show my working process.
The company also recently launched a new initiative called Face Lift, encouraging people to repair and renovate their Massproductions furniture when it is getting worn out.
— It used to be much more normal to ’make do and mend’ rather than throw away and buy new, which was a good thing. Our high quality furniture lends itself to being repaired. For Face Lift, we asked various designers and artists to put some creativity into well used products from our collection and inspire people to see value in their aging furniture. The latest one is the second drop of the Crown Jewels series, which is part of Face Lift. This time we’re worked with Dutch designer Diego Faivre and they will be available for sale, Martin concludes.