Pia’s Picks: roaring designs
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Pia’s Picks: roaring designs

Pia Seidel
Zurich, on 13.08.2021
Translation: Octavia Hurst

I like many things, but my apartment can’t fit them all. So, many products end up in my watch list instead of my shopping cart. This time it’s all things animals.

While I was still studying the mediation of art and design, I regularly encountered «animal shapes» – in French there is the term «zoomorphie» for this. They play a role in various fields such as religion or mythology. As a literary device, «zoomorphie» is used to give animal-like characteristics to everything that isn’t an animal, such as humans and inanimate objects. In art, the comparison of movements or other characteristics of a person with an animal is depicted visually. It emphasises the people’s character traits. Today, I encounter animal shapes elsewhere: in product design. Here, they don’t transform people, but they transform objects into animals.

Penguin Noot Noot shines thanks to the golden ceramic elements. Image: Moooi
Penguin Noot Noot shines thanks to the golden ceramic elements. Image: Moooi

We have brands such as Alessi, Moooi or Seletti to thank for the trend. They create animal designs and continue what started in postmodernism. In the seventies and eighties, design icons such as Ettore Sottsass brought things to life by creating objects as the nodding bird table lamp Tahiti. Now the avant-garde of contemporary design is creating zoomorphic pieces.

Horse - Party Animals drinking cup / vase
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Diesel Living with Seletti Horse - Party Animals drinking cup / vase

Alessi designer Alessandro Mendini’s parrot likes to bare teeth. Not only to provide a hot topic, but above all to pop bottles. The Moooi designs by the Marcel Wanders collective transform round milk glass bodies into animals with just a few golden elements: the Pet Light series consists of rabbit «Purr» and owl «Uhuh» as well as penguin «Noot Noot», which waddles back and forth in my head just reading the name. And then there’s the cup and/or vase created by Diesel and Seletti. The two-in-one design will make your flowers gallop.

Where koala hooks and other animals belong

These cute little animals aren’t only an eye catcher in the nursery. Image: Oyoy
These cute little animals aren’t only an eye catcher in the nursery. Image: Oyoy

Maybe it’s just me, but objects imitating animals radiate positivity. Therefore, they look especially good in nurseries, where the interior is playful. Everyday items such as the Koala Bear Wall Hook by Oyoy are decorative and functional. The side table Goose by Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba scores with «goose bumps» as well as with two hidden drawers. Space and decoration issues are solved by the elephant in the room. The basket by Rice can store blankets or turns into a pot for your plants.

As a fun highlight, such clever and playful objects serve any room well. Therefore: let the animals run wild!

Smart and beautiful: the Goose side table has a secret compartment. Image: Seletti
Smart and beautiful: the Goose side table has a secret compartment. Image: Seletti

«Pia’s Picks» is a regular feature. Tune in for more items from my watch list that you can use to spruce up your home. Follow me as an author to stay up to date.

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«There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I believe in the latter.»
– Albert Einstein


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