Alessia, a modular seating range designed for modern living, was unveiled by Nottingham Trent University graduate Adele Marie Sison at last year’s New Designers exhibition.
“Inspired by a growing need for flexibility within the home, Alessia features arms and backs that can be clipped onto a steel base in a variety of configurations, while also being easily dismantled for transport," says Adele. "The square and rectangular bases can be combined to create a completely customisable seating experience for any living space.
“Because sofas aren’t just used for sitting, the consideration for occasional sleep has also been designed into the Alessia range. The base of the sofa is actually a bespoke mattress, which utilises innovative plastic spring technology from the bed industry.
“Atop the mattress is a feather topper which unzips to reveal a standard-sized duvet. The side cushion is a standard-sized pillow, while the back cushion rolls out to reveal a feather mattress topper wrapped around another foam pillow, allowing the option of both a softer mattress and a firmer pillow.
“Beautifully styled and highly adaptable, Alessia can be configured to be a chair, sofa, footstool, or corner sofa – allowing you to seat (or sleep!) as many or as few people as you like.”
Having previously lived in Italy – where she spent a summer studying 20th century Italian design – and France, Adele moved to the UK from Canada in 2014 to complete a foundation year in design. She then returned to the UK to pursue a degree in Furniture & Product Design at Nottingham Trent University, from which she graduated with first-class honours.
Alongside these studies, Adele spent the last two years working as a junior designer at Duresta (which sponsored the development of Alessia), and this work is ongoing.
In the second year of her degree, Adele won first place in G Plan’s sofa design live brief, which opened the door to her work placement at Duresta. At New Designers 2018, Alessia won the Made.com TalentLAB Award, and was the runner-up for the John Lewis Award for Design and Innovation.
Her design mantra is: “Keep working until you’re happy all the details are as close to perfect as they can be, and the design comes together in a way which would otherwise not be possible.”