A few years ago, I was working for a design magazine and I somehow stumbled upon the work of Fredrikson Stallard. The design firm blew me away with its controversial designs. The ones that really grabbed my attention were the rugs.
Now I know what you are thinking, how attention grabbing can a rug be? Well these rugs were made out of polyurethane and are pretty literal statements on industrial/developed society.
“It can’t happen here, but then it did” could not be a more perfect statement for what is going on in the world. The black shiny pool is made to look like an oil spill happened in the middle of the room. This rug may have been designed in the early part of the 2000’s, but it’s message rings loud and clear with the recent BP oil spill.
Next up is the “Lovers” rug. Sounds romantic huh? Well, not so. The Lovers rug is two conjoined puddles of deep red polyurethane that look like the aftermath of a murder scene. No coincidence here that pools of red consist of the average volume of blood in a human body. Creepy yes, but poignant as well, and unfortunately not as shocking as it should be. We are almost numb to the violence we see, and Fredrikson Stallard put it right in front of us.
Now, why do I reference these designs from so long ago—early 2000’s is a long time ago in the design world. Is it because Fredikson Stallard won 2010 Red Dot award? Or because the Financial Times listed one of its tables as one of the 10 best designs of the decade?
To answer simply, no, that’s not why I reference the firm. Last week I stumbled upon a table designed by French designer, John Nouanesing and it conjured up thoughts of Fredrikson Stallard’s rugs. Nouanesing’s table is seemingly dripping/melting blood or paint to floor and the long streams. Some of those streams end in the table legs.
When I got ahold of Nouanesing he let me know that the table speaks about love and how it makes you happy or sad.
“The glossy red surface shows an almost alive product that seems to be melting of love, and demands you to love it, as it is suffering of that,” explains 26-year-old Nouanesing. “My psychoanalyst would say that the idea came up when my girlfriend left me and broke my heart few years ago.”
That’s what we call dealing with your grief positively!