Bjarke Ingels’s First Sofa Is Inspired by Minecraft and Mies van der Rohe

Bjarke Ingels’s designs look like real-life Lego. The Danish starchitect’s building-blocks approach of stacking different elements to create a unified form has guided the design of the world’s most memorable structures, from the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion in London to a Toronto condo complex.

It’s fitting then, that Ingels, through his practice’s innovation arm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), would bring this experimental sensibility to his first sofa project: Voxel, a modular couch developed for Danish company Common Seating.

The sofa is designed to be flexible, letting the user play around to see what works. Its grid-like system can be reassembled in multiple configurations, from a single-seater or footstool to a larger setup. The pixelated, lattice style also nods to Ingels’s modular approach – each piece fits together.

The system is also intended to be sustainable. You can repair a damaged piece easily by replacing it with another or chuck it entirely without the couch feeling incomplete. From Minecraft to Mies van der Rohe, Ingel’s far-flung influences are apparent in the Voxel system, which strikes the right balance between playful and practical.