Designer Armin Blasbichler‘s work is often jarring. His series ORSON, I’m Home strikes a special chord, though. The series is composed of three “dining sculptures” created primarily from the bodies of various farm animals. While we may be more accustomed to farm animals adorning plates on the furniture, seeing them as taxidermy furniture makes for a surreal juxtaposition. The furniture confronts its users with the consumption it usually facilitates. Interestingly, for the series Blasbichler features a quote from professor and writer Don Slater: “In talking of modern society as a consumer culture, people are not referring simply to a particular pattern of needs and objects […] but to a culture of consumption.”
“I started as a furniture-maker, but eventually felt limited by conventional notions about what furniture was supposed to look like and how it should be built. I now approach my work fundamentally as sculpture, but likewise have resisted passing over the line into pure or nonfunctional form.” – Michael Coffey
According to Michael Coffey, design is not just about art. It’s also a form of “problem solving.” He sees commissions as creative collaboration– loving most when patrons desire something entirely new, more different than his previous work.
As far as process is concerned, Coffey begins with a small wooden model, then develops a design on paper with set dimensions. First cuts generally begin with the buzz of a chainsaw, followed by the use of smaller, more refined, cutters and discs. Part of the fun is figuring out which tools will service the work best. Click on the video after the jump to see more of his work and philosophy.
Bae Sehwa’s steamed bentwood furniture ripples in airy and sinewy ways to curve around the human body. The precision in each piece is not accidental. It’s acutely planned. Sehwa digitally renders and manipulates geometric forms then returns to the actual physical form, steaming and bending the wood into a mold under a tight watch. The result is functional, organically smooth, and flawless.
According to R Gallery, “Bae Sehwa’s work is derived from the Korean concept of baesanimsu, meaning the back of the mountain and front of the water and he draws heavily from the profound connection to nature in traditional Korean theories of divination. The steam bent wooden frame of this lounge offers a narrative that includes both the tranquil, meditative qualities of flowing water and the strong, comforting silhouette of a mountain.”
Critical Objects is a personal initiative of Berlin-based graphic design firm, HelloMe. The project began as a series of explorations that thrive on not having any particular goal. The project consists of a series of objects that transcend a blurry line between artistic sculpture and functional furniture. The beauty of the project is that it remains unknown to the user if these things should really every be used, touched, sat on, or turned on… We have a small collection featured here, so be sure to check out the full series at Critical Objects.
Cao Hui‘s ultra realistic sculptures manage to be intriguing while stomach turning. Cao sculpts every day objects such as furniture or clothing as if from butchered flesh and innards. His strict attention to detail can be seen from the entrails spilling out of a slashed cushion to a couple swollen armrest stitches. Though constructed from resin, his artwork appears to bulge, droop, and tear much like actual flesh. Cao juxtaposes inside and outside, essence and appearance in a very literal (albeit gory) manner. While disturbing, Cao effectively executes his work with a certain dark humor. [via]
Eric Johnson is a brilliant carpenter who designs and builds furniture out of completely salvaged materials. Armchairs from boat masts, rocking chairs from milk crates, lamps from moped scraps. A lot of “recycled” product design can end up looking not too different from the garbage it started out as, but Johnson does an incredible job of using clean, shrewd designs to make objects that stand on their own regardless of their history. The combination of his intelligent designs and recycled materials is inspiring in its own right too, quietly encouraging us all to see the potential in the mountains of discarded objects that overwhelm our modern lives. So kudos on three levels, Eric. Keep your eyes on Mr. Johnson, I smell a bright future.
Tom Price melts a lot of plastic in his work. He bends the distinctly man-made material to his specifications, creating highly conceptual chairs, tables, trees, and other objects. It’s easy to see which aspects of Price’s sculptures are the result of his molten process, and some element of intense heat and power lingers long after required cooling periods. You can almost feel the plastics melting in your hands, and smell the awful scent of burning tar. Such lingering power is what makes these works so intriguing. They’re also beautiful, but who’s counting? (via)
Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota, who is based in Berlin, creates sculptural installations. Often surrounding miscellaneous items like clothing or furniture in tangled nets of twine, she places strict limits upon perception within her work. The stringy elements of her installations almost exist as clouds obstructing the objects that make up each piece. In this way, a work is viewed simultaneously as a singular object and as a product of its environment. Here, airy materials compound into an extremely weighted whole, repositioning our impressions of worldly material. (via)