Sofa issue 4
Delivered to Stack subscribers in Mar 2020
Sofa is a crazy independent publishing experiment from Berlin – it launched in 2016 with an issue dedicated to teenagers, and has since produced issues dedicated to online sex and relationships (the Cyberlove issue) and the changing face of masculinity. This latest issue turns its attention to play, with lots of intensely personal writing by people trying to make sense of the subject as it relates to their 21st-century lives.
Caia Hagel and Ricarda Messner.
What is Sofa?
Sofa is an entire universe. At the core is the annual print publication, which takes on one theme that we’ve chosen because it’s of personal interest to us and we sense its importance rising on a larger scale as a theme of the future. Along with the magazine, we curate SofaTalks and DeepSofa events where we lead raw, honest and also sometimes uncomfortable conversations around today’s most titillating, tantamount topics. We’re about to launch a new concept Sofa website where our content disappears like social media stories.
What makes it different to the rest?
In editorial voices and design aesthetics that span from highbrow to lowbrow, we embrace communication in its many contemporary forms and think of it as the currency with the most influence on change. Cultural communication is a kind of therapy, so we are Culture Therapy. Life is deep, sad, funny, surprising, wild, chaotic, intimate, etc. and so is Sofa.
Who makes Sofa?
Caia Hagel & Ricarda Messner at Sofa HQ’s Virtual Office in Montreal & Berlin, Johannes Conrad & Michelle Phillips and their design team at Studio Yukiko, and Alexandra Bondi di Antoni supports us at large with brand partnerships.
Who reads it?
Broadly speaking, probably teen queens, cool boys, trendsetters, opinion leaders, YouTube addicts, book worms, culture creators, smartasses, world travellers, bedroom dwellers and trend watchers lol but it would make us very happy if people who maybe think that SOFA is not made for them because it’s “too loud” on first impression, pick up a copy and fall hopelessly in love.
Why do you work in magazines?
We love stories and magazines are a great space for that. We started SOFA because we were missing a magazine like it and saw a potential to play with a format that imitates mass media aesthetics (it’s cheaply produced, costs only 6 EUR) but is way more diverse and raw than the big titles. SOFA is like the internet, the www culture is obviously a huge inspiration for us, but we think it’s an interesting and fun challenge to try to translate that feel, some of the talking styles and visual styles, into print.
Aside from the print magazine, what else are you involved in?
Caia:I’m writing a book on the dating crisis, I write freelance about culture, fashion and the future, and I advise brands on identity and ethics as a spiritual consultant.
Ricarda:I’ve started entering the print field with another magazine called Flaneur 7 years ago and am currently in the process to properly establish my imprint/company called Publishing Dreams by defining publishing more as a tool to work with different media (print, digital, spatial experiences) to express dreams aka ideas in their best most tangible form. Besides own adventures, I do writing and cultural consultancy.
What would you change about Sofa if you could?
We’ve been growing slowly and tenderly, maybe we’d speed up a little and expand our reach and income so we can hire more people to work with us.
Where do you see Sofa in five years?
On many shelves in many cities, hosting events that influence thought leadership, working with brands who want to be more youth culture savvy and well poised for the future, and sipping some deep sea cocktails while having lots of fun doing what we do. And being sold at mass media kiosks along with the best chocolate bars.
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