Fashion is exploding with colour, and colours are increas¬ingly adding vibrant notes to kitchens and living rooms too. Now that the world of furniture fittings is likewise getting on board with the current colour trends in the home and interior decoration, furniture interiors are coming out of the shadows and into the spotlight. The Soft Cover for hinges is a world first by Samet that brings colour to hinges for the very first time. The creative stimulus comes from the renowned designer, Defne Koz, who after working for Ettore Sottsass now runs a design partnership with Marco Susani in Chicago, Milan and Istanbul.
Hinge design has been a focus of attention for furniture fittings manufacturers ever since the invisible cup hinge was invented about 50 years ago, concealing the technology from the outside. Along with countless improvements to the operation, installation and ease of use, the design of the hinge and thus the visual fine-tuning are still on the furniture fittings manufacturers’ to-do list. Defne Koz’ idea uses shape and colour to appeal to the senses and adds an emotive factor to a technical product.
Soft Cover is a hinge cover made from flexible thermo¬plastic elastomer (TPE). The rubbery elastic material and the shape of the cover follow the movements of the hinge without interfering with the mechanism.
The Soft Cover by Samet completely covers the hinge arm and cup. In the area between the hinge cup and the arm the cover is elastic enough to absorb the movement as the furniture door opens and closes, changing its shape accordingly. It is made in a single piece by the injection moulding process.
The elegant shape of the Soft Cover is accentu¬ated by the new use of colour which adds a certain wow factor to the otherwise unemotional world of hinge com¬ponent technology. That benefits unit interiors, which can now look as good on the inside as on the outside – especially where the boundaries between the living room and the kitchen are fluid. The Soft Cover hinge can be an eye-catcher, deliberately introducing a colourful note, or it can be harmoniously co-ordinated with the carcass colour. The added value for kitchen design is obvious when unit doors are left open while working in the kitchen. The convenience and practical benefits of this innovative idea become tangible when units have to be cleared out, reorganised or cleaned, because the hinge mech¬anism is completely covered by the Soft Cover, protecting the user’s fingers from injury. Soft Cover has won the Interior Innovation Award 2013.
Thermoplastic elastomers can be recycled. They give product designers almost limitless flexibility in soft touch or ergonomic applications.
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