Sfumato Folding Lounge Chair

Sfumato is designed for tight living spaces, which are increasingly becoming the norm especially in metropolitan cities such as Singapore, London and New York.

Existing folding chairs do not fit into their use environment when they are not deployed and have to be hidden away when not in use. This necessitates a separate storage area when the chair collapsed.

 To add to the problem, most apartments in the city already have limited space and do not have dedicated storage areas.

Sfumato solves these problems by becoming a display piece when not in use. It only takes up less than an inch of space when collapsed and leaned against the wall. The frame easily disappears into the environment when not in use and becomes a frame for a piece of fabric or artwork.

The combination of interchangeable fabric sleeves and the frame-like form factor of Sfumato opens up the exciting opportunity for collaboration with textile designers, printmakers and graphic artists. The seating surface of Sfumato takes on a completely different function of being a canvas for artists and designers.


Sfumato means "to evaporate into smoke" in Italian, it is also one of the four canonical painting modes of the Renaissance. The technique is used by Leondardo da Vinci to achieve the enigmatic smile of the famed Mona Lisa. When Sfumato is collapsed flat, it takes on the function of an image, and disappears onto the wall.

Sfumato is the third in a series of metal furniture exploration. It starts with the principles developed through a previous project (Sink Lounge Chair) and pushes it further. The flatness of the seat surface lends itself to the consideration of collapsibility. That is further challenged by questioning what a chair is in its collapsed state. The result is Sfumato, a lounge chair that disappears into an image when not in use.

Copyright © 2015 Matthew Lim