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This "Blur Sofa" Literally Fades From White To Red
Photo by Kent Larsson; Prop styling: Manuel Norena

Marc Thorpe has a heady way of describing his design sensibility: "Invisibility translated into built form." When you see furniture encased in his new cloth, which begins on one end as white and then fades into a solid color, the phrase starts to make sense. A couch (he calls it the Blur Sofa) seems to dissolve under its fabric's gradient. The cloth took two years to develop. The New York-based designer worked with Jos Pelders of Dutch textile manufacturer Innofa, and used software that orchestrates a process in which yarn is knitted into textured layers while "pixels" of neon wool are simultaneously dropped into the fabric, producing a color pattern that exists both on and within the textile. "We have a big pile in the factory of all of the trials we ran," says Pelders. "To translate the effect was incredible." (Price upon request,

A version of this article appeared in the September 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.