The most iconic designs often straddle the boundaries between functional items for the home and gorgeous works of art. Many designers intentionally explore this delicate balance, creating stunning designs that improve the functionality of our lives while transforming the aesthetics of our spaces. Oftentimes, these pieces carry sculptural references, through a combination of materials, form, and structure, blurring the lines between furniture and art. This week, we’re highlighting five items that exemplify and embody what it truly means to combine the sculptural and functional.
Hans J. Wegner
The idea of making a chair based on the most simple and elegant shape of them all, the circle, remained a distant dream until Hans J. Wegner eventually completed this design at the age of 72. The project spanned his entire career and became one of his most visionary projects, posing great challenges for PP Møbler's workshop as its construction would push the limits of what's possible. Consequently, the Circle Chair turned out to be one of Wegner's most characteristic designs, while offering great comfort and flexibility. Surprisingly versatile, the pp130 is light and transparent, very practical, and easy to move around, fitting elegantly into almost any interior.
Angelo Mangiarotti
Very few designs embody the identity of a sculpture like Clizia. With its curvaceous silhouette and structure built almost entirely of solid marble, Clizia evokes immediate references to historic marble works of art, such as those found in the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Clizia is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, allowing you to transform virtually any part of your home. When in use, Clizia is a functional and comfortable seat; when left unused, Clizia appears as an intentional art piece meant to be observed and admired. Designed by Italian mastermind, Angelo Mangiarotti, Clizia is available in white Carrara marble, grey Carnic marble, or black Marquina marble.
Douglas Fanning
Mobile’s multi-tiered design creates a geometric, sculpturesque silhouette in a way not often seen in lighting. Unabashedly contemporary, Mobile lends itself to being much more than a lamp, but a true statement piece. Gracefully suspended in the air, Mobile consists of slim, hand-milled, seamless blades housing an LED light source, adding depth and dimension to your space while creating an entirely new lighting experience. Mobile’s versatility allows this sculptural masterpiece to blend seamlessly into residential, commercial, cultural or office spaces.
Ole Schjøll
Initially designed for his own home, Ole Schjøll set out to create the perfect dining table, where meals could be enjoyed with family and friends. The result is a contemporary, geometric dining table where circle and cube meet in the form of a round table top and steel wire base. However, the table’s sculptural properties are most evident in the connecting steel wires of its base, which form a star-shaped focal point that allows the dining table to become the center piece of the room. A truly unique dining table, the OS Dining Table incorporates a wide range of design techniques and principles to establish a sculptural design that effortlessly sets itself apart. The top, or topplete as they call it, is actually reversible with one side in black linoleum and the other white laminate.
Jonas Bohlin
Jonas Bohlin’s Concrete Chair is an astounding achievement in sculptural design. Challenging traditional and societal norms within the design world when it was first unveiled in 1982, this piece was first made using only concrete and steel. Now crafted with wood, Concrete's name serves as a reminder of its original design. Geometric, minimalist, and angular, this piece looks as though it would feel just as appropriate in a gallery or contemporary art museum as it would in a residential space. Incorporating graphic, sharp angles, and unique shapes, the armchair's silhouette is unlike any other. Seat available in natural, stained or colored ash.