Brooklyn-based designer Chris Wolston wonders why traditional furniture created for people to lounge and rest on lacks human-like qualities. “Wouldn’t it be nice to actually embrace these similarities?” asks a statement describing his recent Nalgona Chair line, which attempts to rectify the problems he sees with conventional seating models. Wolston’s imitative chairs have distinct appendages displayed in a way that mimics a person with their hands in the air or resting gently on their knees.
The playful seats are made entirely of wicker harvested in the Colombian Amazon. “The human form riffs on the iconic shape of the plastic Remax Chair, ubiquitous through Colombia, and the playful humanoid quality found in pre-Columbian ceramics,” reads the product’s description. Head over to The Future Perfect to add one these unconventional furnishings to your collection, and follow Wolston on Instagram for his latest projects.
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Artist Annie Evelyn’s primary medium: wood. Her primary vessel: the chair. One work, “Cathedral Train Chair”, sports an ocean-blue silk train that fans out from a tufted armchair, emulating the fashion symbol of high social status or a special occasion. Another, “Windsor Flower Chair”, surrounds the sitter with a garden of gently curving vertical wood slats, which burst into synthetic blossoms.
“Evelyn uses furniture’s inherent interactive qualities and relationships to the human body to create new and surprising experiences,” reads a statement on the artist’s website. Her “Static Adornment” series reinvents the role of furniture as physical decoration: wall-mounted structures covered in densely layered beads, copper scales, and red roses fit around a human body not as support but as ornamentation.
Evelyn received her BFA and MFA at Rhode Island School of Design, and is currently a Visiting Professor in the furniture department at California College of the Arts. Her work is also a part of Making a Seat at the Table, a group show of female-identifying woodworkers on view through January 18, 2020 in Philadelphia. Keep up with Evelyn’s latest projects and inspiration on Instagram, and explore more of her portfolio on her website.
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Textile designer Donna Wilson’s newest body of work is a collection of colorful chairs and benches called Abstract Assembly. The designer, who you may be familiar with through her quirky plush characters like Rita Radish and Lenny Leopard, debuted her new venture into hard goods at this year’s London Design Festival.
The vibrant, multi-part chair backs are translated from Wilson’s watercolor paintings and use offcuts of oak, beech, and Douglas fir wood. Each design is a limited edition of ten. All components are hand-painted by Wilson and then dovetailed together (she partnered with Jon Almond on production). Design Milk quoted Wilson’s creative exploration that sparked the Abstract Assembly collection:
A year ago I embarked on a new direction with the main purpose to satisfy my creativity. I finally managed to stand back from what I was doing with my company and see what I needed to do. With no idea where it would take me, I started drawing and painting in the evenings. The next step was for me to bring these abstract doodle to life and start working in wood, I wanted to make hand-assembled pieces using traditional carpentry techniques and luckily my partner Jon was able to help me develop these pieces into a collection of chairs and mirrors.
See more from the Scottish designer on her website, where you can pick up a chair of your own, or peruse the wide array of Wilson’s fabric-based designs. You can also follow the company on Instagram and Twitter. (thnx, Kate!)
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Amsterdam-based designer Sebastian Brajkovic’s (previously) distorted sculptural forms look as though traditional French furniture has been pulled through a time loop. Brajkovic’s work—part furniture, part sculpture—explores the process of distorting interior designs and the effect his skewed pieces have on human perception and emotion.
Brajkovic’s interest in distorting interior objects such as tables and chairs originated in childhood where he began experimenting in fine art before transferring his skills to three-dimensional forms. During his studies at Design Academy Eindhoven, Brajkovic began combining art with conceptual design, eventually settling his artistic style on ‘stretching’ traditional furniture into twisting sculptures. “My inspirations comes from anything that tells a story of movement,” Brajkovic tells Colossal. “I like the aspect that time is visible in the work that I make. So I seek for literal explanations—things untwining or extruding, growing and becoming older, metaphysical experiences, and surreal vision.”
Brajkovic ‘deconstructs’ historical designs—the patterns, detail and structure appears similar to the furniture found in the Queen’s Apartment in the Palace of Versailles. By basing his work on the patterns and form found in historical design, Brajkovic unites the past, present and future, and while his sculptures stand tall as sculptural forms, they also work as functional objects. “My pieces are made constructively out of bronze,” Brajkovic explains. “Then there is upholstery on the bronze. I like this juxtaposed combination of hard/cold and soft/warm material. After this, there is metal (bronze or copper) hand embroidery usually on the works that might give the feeling of bronze structure that goes further into the surface of the fabric.”
Brajkovic’s work resides in permanent art collections across the globe, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and New York’s Museum of Arts and Design. His current exhibition at the David Gill Gallery in London runs through October 17, 2019.
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Sculptor Ted Lott builds wooden artworks based on one of human beings’ most fundamental requirements, exploring the different ways in which we’ve devised shelter as a product of the industrial revolution. Lott examines modern architecture at its core by building tiny scale models without the decorative designs imposed by exterior siding and paint. He then combines these bare yet elegant structures with domestic furniture, fusing the basic necessities of home with the comforts provided from within.
To build his works, Lott uses a bandsaw as a scaled sawmill to generate miniature pieces of wood and other proportioned raw materials. Found and vintage furniture provide the base of his structures which are then lit from within as if someone is home.
“Like us, these structures are regular, nevertheless they strive to be unique, transforming their everyday bones into something beyond the banalities of basic needs,” Lott explains in his artist statement. “To me, this is the reason for making objects, to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. Through this process we point to the complex interaction of necessity, artistry, economy, function and beauty present in the original objects, while highlighting the possibilities of transformation and growth that are a requirement for the continuation and evolution of life.”
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Mike Wilson and Megan Hanneman, founders of CatastrophiCreations, design modular wall-mounted systems to keep cats active. Parents of humans and pets alike (myself included) are all too familiar with the trip hazard of toys scattered on the floor. Wilson and Hanneman move the activity zone to the wall with vertical playgrounds that allow cats to climb, jump, scratch, and even tip-toe across swinging bridges. Eschewing bright colors and plastic materials, the designers use solid wood, hidden brackets, and canvas to create more subtle and sustainable products. You can learn more about the the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based business in an interview and factory tour on Etsy’s blog. Check out their range of products, from the Thunderdome to the Temple Complex, in their online store.
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