The Italian design firm Sawaya & Moroni often commissions new furniture pieces by guest designers who are primarily artists or architects. Many design firms follow this strategy, but for some reason most of the really original design commissions come out of Sawaya & Moroni. I’m not sure why. I’m not a fan of all their work (especially the Zaha Hadid benches), but they take chances. What I find interesting about these two pieces in particular is that they’re tipping over into the realm of art and fantasy, or even the weird, without seeming jokey or childish (like Karim Rashid or Alessi) or too arch. Above is by Marcello Morandini, Italian designer and architect, Chair, 1991, from here. Below is “Sit-Sat” by artist/architect Massimiliano Fuksas (video here) with Doriana Mandrelli, who works for Alessi. I’m really not a fan of Alessi, but nearly 20 years later this object still seems quite arresting. I wouldn’t want either of these at home, but I’d like to see them in a public space.
“Sit-Sat” is a giant seating sculpture made of painted multilayered plywood. Photo from dezeen. “The piece “invites you to find new ways of sitting,” according to Sawaya & Moroni, who compare it to an ancient eroded rock, sacred Aboriginal mountains and Dogun earth dwellings.”