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Introducing Permanent Future: Sofas by Modern Times

Driven by the intention to create “awesome seating to last a lifetime, tailored to the Australian way of life“, Amy and Joel Malin launch their new seating brand Permanent Future with two exceptional sofas available in a multitude of configurations, both with an optional ottoman or footstool, and cushions to boot.

Permanent Future is committed to making damn good sofas. It’s a natural succession for founders Amy and Joel, whose first foray into furniture began with the launch of yours truly (Modern Times) in 2011.

They’ve spent the past 10 years sourcing exceptional vintage European design furniture and studying classic 20th Century pieces, all the while asking the question: “What makes a good sofa?”.

Permanent Future is an exciting new sofa brand committed to making damn good seating.

Choose from either the Easey – it’s young at heart and seriously comfortable, or Easey’s super sophisticated sibling, the Perry – a distinctive low-profile sofa with a unique steel leg detail. Both sofas are designed and manufactured in Melbourne, and what’s more, they only use VOC-free foam, FSC-certified timber, and all feathers meet the Responsible Down Standard.

Permanent Future may be the new kid on the block, but it’s settling in for the long haul. Read our chat with Joel and get acquainted with this exciting new brand – it’s one you’ll want to know. Think of it as meeting a really interesting new friend who’ll stick around for life.

Alongside Amy, you’ve worked in the design industry for 10 years. What motivated you to create your own furniture brand?

We’ve loved the classics we’ve brought back from Europe with Modern Times, and we’ve examined all the elements that go into those classics. We were inspired to create a sofa brand that has an emphasis on both local design and expert craftsmanship, tailored to the Australian way of life. 

We also wanted to create a brand that was the antithesis of fast fashion and here for the long haul – a brand for the future. But also one that has a bit of fun along the way.

The brand was founded by Amy and Joel Malin, whose first foray into furniture began with Modern Times in 2011.
We were inspired to create a sofa brand that has an emphasis on both local design and expert craftsmanship, tailored to the Australian way of life. ”
— Joel Malin
Amy and Joel wanted to "create a brand that was the antithesis of fast fashion and here for the long haul - a brand for the future."

What does Permanent Future mean to you, and what’s the very essence of this brand?

With all the upheaval in the world right now, we really wanted to contribute to creating a calming place for people to live and breathe. Our homes are often this place.

The inspiration for the name of the brand came about when I was watching a report about demonstrators in Hong Kong; one mask-wearing demonstrator says to the camera: “all we want is a permanent future” and I thought to myself, that’s exactly what we all want.

Permanent Future launches with two sofas - the Easey and the Perry - both with an optional ottoman or footstool, and cushions.

What makes Permanent Future so outstanding?

We have done years of Research & Development testing and prototyping. And over the years at Modern Times we’ve been lucky enough to look inside hundreds of amazing pieces of furniture and learn what it is that makes them last. 

Our intention was to make awesome seating that would last a lifetime. I think we’ve achieved this, but I’ll invite our customers to be the judges. 

Building this brand has taken years of Research & Development testing and prototyping. A meticulous nature and eye for detail has made this a labour-intensive, yet highly enjoyable, process.
With a sustainable and environmental focus, all Permanent Future pieces use VOC-free foam and FSC-certified timber, and all feathers meet the Responsible Down Standard.
We tried hundreds of foam lamination combinations to get the form and comfort factors we were looking for. The guys in the factory thought we were completely nuts.”
— Joel Malin
What's more, all sofas are designed and manufactured right here in Melbourne.
"We have spent endless hours discussing the intricacies of various production methods and testing different options," Joel says.

Launching Permanent Future has clearly been years in the making – what has been your favourite part of the process to-date?

It’s been really fun working along side Alex Cummins from Steelotto to develop the designs and prototypes. We have spent endless hours discussing the intricacies of various production methods and testing different options. For example, we tried hundreds of foam lamination combinations to get the form and comfort factors we were looking for. The guys in the factory thought we were completely nuts.

The Perry sofa (pictured) is a distinctive low-profile sofa with a unique steel leg detail.
There are vegan fabric options available, as well as Australian eco-wool.
It's a sophisticated design; the rounded, welcoming shapes up top are offset by the fine steel frame below.
I hope Permanent Future pieces become interwoven with the homes and families who live with them for many many years to come.”
— Joel Malin

Where do you see Permanent Future in 10 years?

I hope people like what we have created and trust us enough to place it in their homes. I think about the pieces of furniture that I grew up with as a kid, they have a presence in my memory like the food we ate or the people we spent time with.

I hope Permanent Future pieces become interwoven with the homes and families who live with them for many many years to come.

The Easey's pillowy seat cushions are generous in size and detailed with twin-stitch piping. It's available in a 2-, 3-, 4- or 4.5-seater, as well as a sectional.
Joel says: "Our intention was to make awesome seating that would last a lifetime. I think we’ve achieved this, but I’ll invite our customers to be the judges."

Photography by Elise Scott.

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