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10 Uncomfortable Pieces of Furniture
Bicycle Seat Sofa
Though a visually appealing and inspired use for recycled bicycle seats, this rustic orange sofa—created by Hiroshige Koike of Japanese bike manufacturer Scarabike—evokes feelings of intense discomfort in anyone who's actually sat on a bike seat. Though its invite to sit appeals mostly to our sense of wonder—"Will this hurt as much as my spinning class on Wednesday night?"—we're nonetheless taken with the geometric design, impeccable execution and totally groovy color scheme. (Oh yeah—it comes with a cool matching stool, too!)Photo courtesy of Scarabike.
London-based designer Danny Lane is described on his website as "an architect of the avant-garde furniture movement of the 1980s," and is known for his experiments with stacked and fractured glass, which "exploit the strength of glass under compression and combine feats of design and engineering to produce work breathtaking in its apparent simplicity." On that, we agree. As for his infamous "Stacking Chair," a Caution sign may be in order when it's on display anywhere other than a museum.Photo courtesy of DannyLane.co.uk.
This 317.5-pound tree trunk has three bronze casts of chair backs connected to it and toys with the idea that the trunk of a tree can be turned into seats with minimal effect on its actual shape. Designed by Jurgen Bey, who coruns Studio Makkink & Bey—a company that explores architecture and applied art through design—the Tree-Trunk Bench is meant to tell a story while cross-referencing nature and culture.Styling by Marjo Kranenborg, Photo courtesy of Robaard/Theuwkens via Droog.com.
Autonomous Living Unit
This somewhat sinister-looking seat has much less menacing intentions—it aims to incorporate all of the electronic functions of a home into a single chair (sound, lighting, etc). The project was presented by designer Eduardo McIntosh as part of an exhibition calledFUTURE.city.past.FORWARDat the d3 gallery in Brooklyn, New York. As per the artist, the influence of architecture on dilapidated housing units—making them minimal yet visually appealing—would allow their insertion into derelict areas.Photo courtesy of d3space.org.
"Triumvirat of the Seatyrs"
Austrian artist and designer Helmut Palla of Turniture presented this taxidermy-inspired chair set as part of the 2009 MAK Furniture Study Collection exhibitFurniture as Trophy, which focused on incorporating animal materials into furniture design. Palla's pieces featured strategically placed horns—a comment on the animal-skin-covered classics of interior design—meant to give the furniture a touch of luxury, exoticism and erotic appeal—never mind the looming fear of puncture wounds.Photo courtesy of Helmut Palla via Turniture.com.
Though not your typical recliner, Tokujin Yoshioka's water tank–submerged chair made of natural crystals makes up in design what it lacks in loungeability. According to DesignoftheYear.com, the shape of the chair evolved as the crystals multiplied, challenging the idea that objects are reliant on man-made applications, since the "Venus" chair conforms to the power of nature. As the chair took shape, it gradually emerged from water (like the goddess Venus herself), which, according to Yoshioka, "embodies a beauty born of coincidence" and speaks to futuristic design.Photo courtesy of Masaya Yoshimura via Tokujin.com.
Solar System Chair
Aptly named, this seat-cum-planetary-homage designed by Alan Eagle is made of four red spheres—meant to be the seat cushion, back and arm rests—which represent the orbit of planets around the sun. Though sitting would be a never-ending battle of balance, we can't help but gravitate toward this chair's funky, modern design, with its chromed stainless steel and very vibrant electric red synthetic velvet. (And we aren't the only ones, since this chair is now sold out.)Photo courtesy of .
Designed by Belén Hermosa, this mysteriously named seat is made of thousands of blank compact discs lined up in rows to create the support for this chair. Although we think a better suited title would be "Dicing for a Slicing," we must admit that the dark-colored rims and luminescent backs of the CDs work to create both an über-chic (and eco-friendly!) color scheme and silhouette.Photo courtesy of Belén Hermosa via bespace.es.
The creative team at AXN—the international pay-television, cable and satellite television channel owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment—was behind this 2007 advertisement, which included the teaser, "Relax. If You Can." What message is the ad trying to convey? Maybe that the content AXN delivers to living rooms (such as action-packed shows and intense dramas) fills viewers with so much blood-pumping adrenaline that they would be forced from their seats.Photo courtesy of IBelieveinAdTV.com.
Moss, a concept store in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood that, according to its website, "set out to transform the public perception of industrial product design," is host to this doll chair made by the Brazilian designers (and siblings) Fernando and Humberto Campana. Both eccentric and colorful, this quirky cushion comprised of handmade dolls reminds us too much of what it felt like to find yourself sitting on a misplaced toy—uncomfortable and a little depressing.
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