The Survivor Sofa Story

Client: the RSA / Paul Wyatt

Project background

The Survivor Sofa Story follows a small team of designers as they wage a war against waste with design as their method of attack.They spent six months looking for simple design solutions which could help reduce the 1.6 million tonnes of furniture and bulky waste we throw out in the UK each year.

They decide to save a sofa which was destined for landfill because it didn’t have a fire label and use this as a communications tool to highlight how products could be redesigned to give them a new life. They tear down and rebuild (and redesign) the sofa with the help of Camira Fabrics who create a recycled yarn appropriately named “Survivor” which they use to reupholster the sofa at Clerkenwell Design Week. Along the way they meet some of the fantastic re-use organisations in the UK who help local communities and learn how small design initiatives can have big changes when it comes to the design of a product.

The film features Sebastian Conran, Camira Fabrics, furniture designer and maker Sebastian Cox and high end furniture retailer Ekornes. Heavily featured in the film is designer Ella Doran who in the 90s pioneered photographic printing onto 3d objects and has a line of products available through John Lewis and Xenia Moseley who was named one of the UK’s freshest design talents in 2014, her work has been exhibited at the V&A Museum, the Southbank Centre, and her Journeywoman’s boat is in the private collection of Sir Terence Conran.

The Survivor Sofa Story aired on Community Channel on the 14th December 2015 and is now available online. Community is the only TV channel for communities, charities and the brilliant people who make the U.K. a better place for us all. Twelve million people watched the channel last year. Viewers learn more by watching the channel and are motivated to do more for others. Community Channel is a Media Trust initiative, funded by the Big Lottery Fund.


Filmed, directed & edited by: Paul Wyatt

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