When Architects Design Furniture: Designing buildings is something architects may consider as being easier then designing furniture. The desire to design everyday objects into a highly personalized and unique manner is a  concept many architects seem to have taken into consideration.

Taking a peek at the structure, form, aesthetics as well as performance, we’ve selected some of our favorites designs so far.

1. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe – Barcelona Chair

Creating a piece of furniture for royalty at the time when many others were thinking of designing things for the “common man” was something only Ludwig Mies van der Rohe could do. The idea of the chair was taken from the roman aristocrats chairs called the Curule Chair, and it requires much more hand craftsmanship then normal chairs.

Courtesy of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Courtesy of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

2. Frank Gehry – Rocking Chaise

Frank Gehry always had a keen interest in the industrial materials such as plywood and corrugated metal,  which can be seen in his early projects like the Wiggle Chair, but he was always fascinated by the idea off the rocking chair, which he designed accordingly to his own style.

Courtesy of Frank Gehry

Courtesy of Frank Gehry

3. Eero Aarnio – Ball Chair

The Ball Chair more commonly known as the globe chair due to its shape and famous for its unconventional shape was designed in 1963. The idea came from random drawing of the architect for designing a big chair which would not only serve as a show piece but at the same time be used physically.

Courtesy of Eero Aarnio

Courtesy of Eero Aarnio

4. Rem Koolhaas – Edge of the Seat

Being tall has a lot of benefits, but at the end of the day everyone needs to have comfortable chair to sit on, which is why the 6 foot 3″ architect designed the adjustable chair and table. Due to his height, the chairs were always a problem that made him sit down and think about the idea of designing a chair and table which can be allowed to move up according to the requirements of the user.

Courtesy of Rem Koolhaas

Courtesy of Rem Koolhaas

5. Rem Koolhaas – Paradigm Shift

The idea of using three horizontal shelves on top of each other which can then be rearranged according to the requirements of the user was something Rem Koolhaas was thinking about for a long time. The concept of making the shelves act as a sofa was practical, as he only focused on the performance of the product rather then the aesthetics.

Courtesy of Rem Koolhaas

Courtesy of Rem Koolhaas

6. Zaha Hadid – “Mesa” Glass Table

The connection of void and solid, when the void is defining the structure as much as the solid, is something that evolved from an architectural experiment. The design created two horizontal planes which depict the form and surface as much as structure and ground. The voids don’t only act as holes but rather they define their own surface.

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid

7. Emmanuelle Moureaux – Rainbow Storage

The way the designer combines concrete and color is quite unique. The layers of rainbow colored sheets were tossed in the air and piled on each other at random to give this form.

Courtesy of Emmanuelle Moureaux

Courtesy of Emmanuelle Moureaux

8. UNstudio – Gemini Chair

Setting up an asymmetric frame, the single surface body of the curves towards the floor on one side and arches upwards to from both an arm and backrest on the other. This shape offers the user the possibility to sit in a variety of positions and directions depending on the mood.

Courtesy of UNstudio

Courtesy of UNstudio

 9. UNstudio – My Lounge Chair

The approach of industrial products is different than the normal architectural projects, where the designers decides to figure out how to make the chair a part of the environment. The concept of My Lounge Chair is no recreate the feeling you get when relaxing after a hard day’s work.

Courtesy of UNstudio

Courtesy of UNstudio

10. UNstudio – Sit Table

People interact with each other in a variety of ways, whereas the SitTable looks to expand that horizon with much ease, creating an unconventional place.

Courtesy of UNstudio

Courtesy of UNstudio

11. GRAFT – Fat Tony

A seating system based on modular setting and a lot of extra parts which allows for a variation of possibilities. Fat Tony is very flexible in use,  it can be placed anywhere in the house, and also it can be altered to everyday requirements.

Courtesy of GRAFT

Courtesy of GRAFT

 12. GRAFT – 1D Double WashBasin

The spatial concept which revolutionized the bathroom design, by bringing to light the idea of having a double washbasin in a standalone installation within the bathroom.

Courtesy of GRAFT

Courtesy of GRAFT

 13. J. Mayer H. – Lo Glo

Products can sometime mimic the buildings designed by the architect, such as the Lo Glo in the Vitra museum that was inspired from the architect’s Lazika Pier project. Both the cases have foreign objects which seem to be devoid of purpose: when the Lo Glo illuminates it brings its function known.

Courtesy of J. Mayer H

Courtesy of J. Mayer H

 14. J. Mayer H. – Soft Mosaic Collection

Many times architects have designed products that push the boundaries of materials, one such example is the Soft Mosaic Collection. The use of glass mosaic in a seating elements comes to mind as the last materials that should be used whereas the Mosaic is shaped to the human body and can be used in wet environments like pools and bathroom.

Courtesy of J. Mayer H

Courtesy of J. Mayer H

15. Standard Architecture – Hidden Dragon Sofa

The sofa has sinuous curves that invoke the imagery of the Western Mountains forming the seat-backs and separate niches for diverse seating experiences. The concept is taking from the Chinese tales of the water dragon, the form of the piece represents the interpretation of the invisible movements of the dragon and the blazing red color is to make it eye catching.

Courtesy of Standard Architecture

Courtesy of Standard Architecture

 

By: Muhammad Umair Siddiqui

Leave a Reply