A Touch Unexpected

Eliza Strozyk's wood carpet can be sculpted in dramatic ways. Photo credit Sebastian Neeb

Industrial, product and textile designers continue to up the ante in terms of manipulation of materials, all to my delight.  Often motivated by the movement to upcycle, or simply reconnect us with the objects we live with, designers are pushing the limits of their imagination and ability (and modern technology’s) to transform materials into some pretty amazing creations.  Here are a few favourite examples.

Wooden Textiles

I could wax poetic all day about the ingenuity behind textile designer Elisa Strozyk’s work with her “Wooden Textiles” series. Weaving it like- and with- fabric she’s created some stunning pieces, from furniture to carpeting and light fixtures. The final product is a sensory delight – hard and soft at once, looking and smelling like wood, but feeling, moving, and taking shape in unexpected ways.  Strozyk says she wants to make surfaces desirable to touch to reconnect us with the material world.

Elisa Strozyk's "Miss Maple" lamp. Photo credit Sebastian Neeb

Dressed Up Furniture

South Korea-based design team KamKam’s Dressed Up Furniture series is pure delight.  A four piece range of furniture that’s dressed in felt and further accessorized with belts, buckles and buttons is just such fun.  The designers say they want to renew our experience of opening and closing doors and drawers to form emotional connections with the functional objects in our life.

The melding of furniture and fashion. KamKam's stools, cabinets and benches all offer amazing storage. Images via KamKam

Breathing Chair

Taiwanese industrial designer Yu-Ying Wu was inspired by plant cells and her own mobility issue when she designed her “Breathing Chair”, a red-dot award winner for innovative design.  While the outside takes the form of a block of tofu, internally the chair is constructed of many cells of environmentally friendly plastic foam of varying sizes.  The voids these form respond to your size, shape and weight for an amazing and fully supported seated experience.  When you get up, it pops back into block shape again.  Cool!

Yu-Ying Wu's Breathing Chair named for its inherent the elastic properties, allowing the chair to take its shape based on yours for full support and comfort. Image courtesy of the designer's website UYing Design

Dinosaur Chair

France-based La Maison de Lena’s solution to the ubiquitous plastic crap for kids is this dinosaur chair constructed of eco-friendly cork.  A perfect addition to the home during the dinosaur phase of childhood development.  Its neutral colour will fit in with most design schemes.

I was very disappointed to learn my favourite dino, the brontosaurus never existed. Connected the bones of two different long necks together, sigh... Image via Bambino Goodies

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2 Responses to A Touch Unexpected

  1. Jacs_13 says:

    I love the blue and orange chest. That would make for a perfect outdoor piece for me! Look great guys, keep up the very “unexpected” pieces. Love it!

  2. wheelchairgirl says:

    I’m glad to see that Yu-Wing Wu piece get more coverage – it’s a fabulous example of accessibility design that’s great for everyone, and isn’t ugly like so much of the low-end ugly ADA crud we get stuck with. A material like this would make a great wheelchair cushion, but it also makes a great chair for everybody!

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