Za:Za, by Zaven, is a different kind of sofa, which ingeniously redefines upholstery

Zaven had a revolutionary intuition: thinking about the structure of the sofa in a non-orthogonal way. As well as common sense. And, together with Zanotta, he found a way to transform it into a contemporary, sustainable, light product. Even comfortable and enveloping.

Za:Za by Zaven for Zanotta

Lateral thinking

It could be argued that it is always a matter of thinking out of the box. Of activating lateral thinking and not taking anything for granted. Achieving this with upholstered furniture is not easy, however. A sofa typically has a rigid structure, a shell, which of course can be lightened, or even eliminated as is the case with sofas made of only cushions. But overcoming the idea of the shell has the immediate effect of deconstructing the product. Its disorganisation. An interesting but not always desirable effect. In addition to a detail that is fundamental today: variable-density polyurethane foam padding is not very ecological.

A decontracting operation

Zaven did something completely different. He kept a lightweight, single-material metal frame of welded cylindrical steel tubing. On it he attached polyester straps fixed at the front. The intuition follows the logic of the hammock: the straps are loosened to create the housing for the seat cushions. Armrests and backrests are contained by the straps but fit like a soft garment along the tubular sections. It is a decontracting operation that has resulted in a practically finished project, which Zaven presented to Zanotta. Together the company and the designers then found viable production solutions.

Sustainable comfort

First of all, the padding, which is the great ecological concern when designing a sofa. In this case the choice has fallen on an alternative that limits the use of polyurethane, in preference to regenerated and regenerable polyester microspheres wherever possible. The whole is enclosed in an irremovable cover, also made of regenerated and regenerable polyester. There is no use of glue in assembling the different paddings, which are instead placed in different pockets in individual cushions. Overall, it is an enveloping, comfortable sofa that does not change the perception of the object, does not follow the spartan aesthetics that sometimes seem necessary to rationalise the use of materials and end-of-life product design. Za:Za to all intents and purposes is a sofa designed and produced in a sustainable manner, but attentive to that part of comfort, also aesthetic, which is the true innovation of which design is capable when it is necessary to design with new logic.

Two-tone effects

Za:Za is completely removable and there is a wide range of sustainable fabrics developed by the Zanotta research centre. In this service the fabric is Testura (35% Cotton, 41% Recycled Polyester, 24% Recycled Cotton). A simple weave with brilliant colours and outstanding physical-mechanical performance. A two-tone effect enhanced by the weave in bright tones and a structure in more neutral tones.