When you’ve been in the business of home design for as long as we have, you start to notice a few recurring characters that quietly and effortlessly steal the spotlight. Enter the low-slung, forward-thinking Togo sofa designed by Michel Ducaroy for Ligne Roset.
The all-foam cushion seating with no hard points is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and remains as polarizing and emblematic of modern design as ever.
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"...a tube of toothpaste folded back on itself like a stovepipe and closed at both ends."
- Michel Ducaroy, designer of Togo
The Togo "seat-cushion" was first presented in Paris at the Salon des Arts Ménagers in 1973, and while its sunk-in form was met with its fair share of skeptical glances, the organizers awarded Ducaroy the René-Gabriel prize, which recognized "innovative and democratic furniture." To truly understand its spirit, one must take into account the larger intersection of design and culture in the 1960s and ‘70s: There were rapid changes in social attitudes alongside a rise in experimentation of all sorts, including with new materials like foams, quilting, and thermoformed plastics.
Since then, Togo continues to inspire and remains one of Ligne Roset's best-sellers. And in 2007, Ligne Roset decided to make the floor-level seat accessible to a newer, younger generation by introducing the Mini-Togo, which is exactly what it sounds like: a smaller-sized version of the iconic form for those age 4 to 12.
For the rest of the year, Ligne Roset stores will be celebrating 50 years of Togo with special editions, inspired installations, and artist collaborations at their local stores across the country, starting at their New York City flagship for NYCxDESIGN. And this summer, stores will also be installing a "podcast corner" where customers can listen to interviews with designers, musicians, celebrities, historians, educators, and more about the deep impact of Togo.
As part of our own celebration of Togo, we’ve rounded up some of our editors’ favorite uses of the ubiquitous piece through the years.
"The coast is my happy place—and I love how this British Columbia home pairs laid-back Togo seating with a cozy fireplace and floors that evoke the texture of a pebbled shore. It’s like a beachside bonfire, without all the sand." —Mike Chino, Senior Design Editor
"The curved roof of this project, not to mention how much of it the owner impressively did himself, has made it one of my favorites. And it’s neat to see how such a of-now design echoes his Togo chair, grooves and all." —Kate Dries, Executive Editor
"Togo earned its ubiquity over the decades with its laid-back, playfully distinct form. I’ve always thought it brings a lot of personality to a room without taking over. But I don’t want to overlook how well it handles all kinds of color, changing moods depending on the fabric, as in this monochrome moment inside a San Francisco townhouse." —William Hanley, Editor-in-Chief
"This teeny-tiny, all-white apartment in Taipei is all sharp lines and edges, which actually highlights the whimsical nature of the Togo—a fluffy little oasis of comfort." —Megan Reynolds, Senior Home Guides Editor
Join in on celebrating 50 years of Togo at ligne-roset.com.