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Reshaping Furniture

Is furniture the new art? We explore the intersection of function and design.

sculptural abstract Silicone Furniture by artist Nick Missel

Exaggerated shapes for seriously playful interiors reimagine the sitting experience. We’ve gathered 5 pieces of furniture that call into question the assumptions we make about a chair, in the style of Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte famous artwork “Ceci n’est pas une”... chaise.   

The Marshmallow Lounge by Klein 
marshmallow chair with black leather cushions designed by Klein Agency

With its swivel base and optional ottoman pairing, the Marshmallow lounge chair from LA-based Klein—a maker of unique collectable furniture and spaces—supports multi-faceted use, from spin to slouch. Composed from sheet aluminum press brown into a form that holds 12 individual soft, marshmallow pillows, the form allows the materials to shine.  

Silicone Furniture by Nick Missel
sculptural chair in spiky orange silicone designed by Nick Missel

Taking inspiration from iconic conceptual artists Marcel Duchamp and the ‘cultural archeology of the working class,’ artist Nick Missel’s silicone and aluminum furniture collection debuted at Design Miami’s LA edition earlier this year. The objects, formed from reconstructed car radiators and resin fiberglass, and by layering pigmented silicone on bales of recycled cardboard, create new narratives out of “compressed moments of human existence”. 

blue chair with wood frame designed by Orior
credenza with green Irish marble designed by Orior

When designers Brian and Rosie McGuigan moved from Denmark back to Ireland in 1979, Orior was born. Under the creative direction of their son, Ciaran, designs continue to uphold the era’s style, with long lasting shapes, colors and materials that balances a shapely, sculptural sensibility of form with a sense of function. The art of these pieces is as much in the shape as the materials: European upholstery fabrics, hides from small family owned French and Italian tanneries, and the notable Connemara marble, one of the oldest stones in the world also known as Irish Green marble—sourced from its namesake in Connemara, Ireland.


La Casa Dentro by Formafantasma
bent metal tube and wood furniture with floral application

A collection that translates as “the Home Within” is exhibiting at Fondazione ICA Milano until 19 July. Bent metal tubes combined with decorative floral applications “address the canons of modernism” through the conflicting aesthetics of sober, early 20th century modernism and more decorative and typically “feminine” motifs. Delving into their own personal domestic memories for reference, the designer duo explain the collection as “a romantic attempt to dignify personal memories and what is often culturally vilified, the decorative, the cute and, by extension of meaning, the feminine.”

Crafting Plastic by Kasper Kyster
clear stool made of bent plastic

Hot off the debut at Copenhagen’s 3 Days of Design, Danish designer Kasper Kyster’s conceptual furniture collection was created by hand-bending two-millimetre thick PETG plastic sheets, the material properties influencing the final shapes. Stools, chairs, a large shelf, a coat rack and two lamps were deliberately recognizable shapes to highlight "a transformation from the industrial to the organic" and elevate the conversation around plastic as a craft material.


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