Japanese artist Tokujin Yoshioka, who spent years working with Shiro Kuramata and Issey Miyake, and has collaborated with Hermes, Toyota, BMW, and Swarvoski, among others, created this natural crystal chair, titled "Venus."
The extraordinary art piece was crystallized over time by submerging a polyester elastomer chair skeleton in an aquarium. Although the chair looks far from comfortable, it's certainly a wonderful example of sustainable design, born out of the laws of nature, not a forest in the Amazon. I'd love to see this technique used to make other products where comfort is less of an issue, such as a lamp base or a coat tree. Yoshioka has curated an exhibit called "Second Nature," which features the chair, at 21_21 Design Sight in Roppongi, Tokyo. The exhibit runs through Jan. 18, 2009, and features the work of a number of other artists, including the Campana brothers. To see more photos of Venus, and how it was made, read more
Dutch designer Maarten Baas's "Smoke" is a series of a charred furniture finished with an epoxy resin so that the pieces are preserved instead of destroyed. A 2004 exhibition called "Where There's Smoke" at Moss in New York showcased the collection of 25 one-off pieces, including iconic designs by Gaudi, Eames, Rietveld, Sottsass, and the Campana Brothers among others, which had each been burned with a blow torch and then salvaged with the translucent sealant. At the exhibit, the pieces were put in a timeline from antique to modern, grouping pieces like a grandfather clock and chaise lounge together, and a second stage of pieces like an Eames LCW chair and Noguchi coffee table from 1900-1950 together.
Three of the "Smoke" works were picked up by Marcel Wanders for reproduction by his international design company, MOOOI, and important designers and collectors like Lidewij Edelkoort and Philippe Starck have also personally acquired the pieces. Select pieces have been exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. What's really beautiful about the series is that the furniture retains that charred texture, it's quite haunting, and appropriate for Halloween. To see more photos and close-ups, read more
Artist Christopher Chiappa's Chainsaw Rocker is a to-scale reproduction of a junkyard-find Honda Accord car seat that was chiseled to form by a chainsaw sculptor. Currently on view at Moss in Los Angeles, it's lowbrow artwork for the design elite. While its brass plated legs make it a delightfully functioning rocker, it's the chair's texture that really gets me. The wood was so expertly carved, with such realistic curves, that its toughness is almost disguised. It's funny: you wouldn't normally associate the harsh cuts of a chainsaw with the upholstery of a car seat.
Forgoing a shepherd's pie ottoman or a Wimbledon coffee table, London-based architecture and design practice Fat created England's Dreaming as a tribute to its native country in furniture form. The antique chaise is covered at one end by a mini English landscape, juxtaposing scales and references, prompting the lounger to "Lie back and think of England." I only wonder why Fat didn't choose a traditional English piece of furniture, such as something by Thomas Chippendale; we all know that the chaise lounge (longue) originated from the French. To see the mini landscape up close, read more
At one point in my life, this would be a no-brainer for me. Back when all of my boyfriends (and myself, too) hung out on skateboards and in skateboard parks, this would've been a perfect addition to our homes. Can you see any room for it in yours?
I'm sure there's some modern-day equivalent of the Love Rug, which GiggleSugar recently uncovered. There must be some piece of furniture that substitutes as a furry lover, which, as the copy for this ad so eloquently states, "As you stroke, it strokes. . . . It's almost like having another lover there with the two of you." I'm sure there's probably something similar, but I'm not going out of my way to find it. Source