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Tattomi Manual
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last update: 02.08.2010

Busse Longlife Design Award 2008
Busse Longlife Design Award 2008

Quotation from the Moderne Klassiker - Möbel, die Geschichte machen, P.69
Editor: Angelika Jahr, Authors: Ursula Dietz, Dr. Kurt Gustmann, Karl-Richard Könnecke, Klaus-Jürgen Sembach

Model Tattomi

Although the saying goes: “Too many cooks spoil the broth”, in the case of the Tattomi the opposite is true - here, several good cooks together have produced an excellent ‘meal’. In the early eighties, the designer Jan Armgardt put his mind to figuring out ways of making furniture with canny, rotating and folding mechanisms, which would make versatility possible. Stimulated by a conversation with Werner Dechand (of mobilia collection), the idea occurred to him to design an armchair-cum-bed, cum-armchair again. A bed that can be transformed back into an armchair in a quick and easy way – practical and therefore ideal for young people living in small flats. The padding for the Tattomi was envisaged in the shape of small, oblong cushion-bags joined together.

Werner Dechand welding the first frames

The earliest versions

The first step was to achieve an armless low armchair out of three parts: a four-fold adjustable backrest, a lower padded seat, an upper padded seat, all of them intended to unfold forward when the armchair opens out into a bed. This prototype was exhibited at the Cologne Trade Fair in 1985 and was highly praised by specialists. One of the enthusiasts was the lighting designer, Ingo Maurer, who was convinced that this would be a fast seller in Italy. He made contact with a firm in Milan called DePadova and collaborated in the development and refining of the concept. He also gave it its name ‘Tattomi’ under which it was first promoted in January 1986.

Only then did the manufacturer, Werner Dechand, start seriously contemplating the joint-functioning possibilities of the Tattomi. He wanted to make the joints engage and lock in several different places so that many optional reclining positions would be possible. A seat that is well inclined backwards is particularly favourable when reading or watching television. Werner Dechand became the inventor of the so-called " relax-fold".

When contemplating the Tattomi, Jan Armgardt wasn´t thinking of either the Tatami or the Futon! “I just wanted to make something really simple, pure and comfortable.” The Tattomi transformed into a bed was mostly intended as a guest bed, which could be turned back in to an armchair for comfortable day-time use. The adjustment can be made very easily by sliding pins situated on the underside of the flat vats.