The human form has played a large part in the art of the West and in various cultures around the world. Sculptures by the ancient Greeks and tribal African sculptures from such countries as Benin and Nigeria have been dated as thousands of years old. Paintings by the European masters such as Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo have graced galleries and living rooms (in the form of reproduction posters) alike. These sculptural human furniture pieces are thus another evolution in the portrayal of the human form.
The sculptural human furniture pieces one can see in the images are by Dzmitry Samal, head of ‘Samal Design’ which is a design studio based in Paris. Samal describes his human furniture creations as being “a mix between the pragmatism and efficiency of the geometrical shapes and sculptural beauty of the human body”. There’s a lot of philosophical points to be made regarding these beautiful and unusual furniture pieces. I’m reminded somewhat unsurprisingly of Franz Kafka’s short story ‘The Metamorphosis’, where a man turns into an insect one morning. However, in the case of these sculptural furniture pieces, the human form is transforming into something altogether more attractive and indeed, functional.
The designer of the sculptural human furniture pieces, Dzmitry Samal, has a rich cultural background and education in design. He’s worked with fellow designers from around the world and travelled widely during his studies and for work. The sculptural human furniture pieces are therefore the creation of a highly imaginative mind which has been cultivated through experience in countries such as Belarus, Italy and France.
I’ve written about living human furniture before but these pictured here are something else. Their metamorphosis from human to furniture, or alternatively from furniture to human, create existential questions about our very nature and how we shape the world around us. Do we become furniture to our surroundings or perhaps we are merely decorative art like a poster on the wall? For designers, the questions about how furniture is designed can be given an extra impetus through the viewing of these sculptural human furniture pieces. Surely a wardrobe for example can be made to mirror the main torso of the human body? A wardrobe does act as a storage area for clothes which hide the main frame of a human being after all.
The sculptural human furniture pieces in many ways echo the shape of the human body when interacting with the furniture piece involved. For example, the closet shows the human body reaching out to take something from within, such as a shirt or coat. A floor lamp is shaped like a human arm reaching for the on and off switch. Low shelving is shaped like the bended knees of someone searching for a book on the lower levels. The furniture becomes us, like a mirror image, a statement of who we are.
You can read a lot more about the talented artist and designer Dzmitry Samal on his website which can be found here: Dzmitry SAMAL Design Website.
For more images and information of this human furniture collection see: Sculptural Human Furniture by Dzmitry Samal.
Note: All images in this post belong to Dzmitry Samal and were reproduced here with his permission.