Emilia Borgthor’s sofa table Sebastopol (Coalesse) was awarded the Golden Award in its category at this year’s NeoCon 2011.

Sebastopol’s shape breaks rank from the traditional sofa table size. Multi-purpose, functional and just plain fun, Sebastopol can be used alone or as a group, as a sofa table, side desk or by the bedside – the possibilities are endless!


Industrial Designer Emilía Borgthórsdóttir was born in the tiny fishing community of the Westman Islands right off the south coast of Iceland. She currently lives and works in San Francisco, US.

A2009 Art Institute of California graduate, Borgthórsdóttir worked as a physical therapist before switching over to design.

Design should be made for people and it is therefore important to know the function of the human body.

Her Surtur chair, named after the Norse Giant who gave name to the island of Surtsey, which was birthed in 1963 from a sub-sea volcanic eruption close by Borthórsdóttir’s home island, places ergonomics at the centre of the design process:

The inspiration came from this island and is thought of being a little habitat where the user can move around and adjust to their activities. The human body is made for motion and it is natural to move. In addition to the physical factors there are dynamics of space that affect people and therefore have to be concluded in the design. The act of sitting is viewed as a static in nature. Far from the truth, it involves almost continuous repositioning in order to respond to the demands of the various activities. How each individual relaxes is unique but the ergonomics don’t change. Surtur is a new innovative chair with ergonomics in mind.


For more information, log on to Emilia’s website here, and also read the really nice Q&A at Core 77 on the NeoCon 2011 designs here.