Robert Stadler designs whimsical furniture informed by genetically modified food

OMG-GMO furniture and lighting in the shape of fruit and vegetables by Robert Stadler

Designer Robert Stadler has created a series of fruit- and vegetable-shaped ceramic furniture and lighting pieces named OMG-GMO at Milan design week.

Displayed at the Carwan Gallery as part of Milan design week, the collection was designed to be a humorous comment on how the natural appearance of fruit and vegetables has been altered to make them more standardised.

Stadler‘s designs featured bananas, avocados, leeks and carrots with spotless surfaces and regular shapes transformed into functional objects.

OMG-GMO furniture and lighting in the shape of fruit and vegetables by Robert Stadler
OMG-GMO features furniture and lighting in the shape of fruits and vegetables. Photo by Alejandro Ramirez Orozco

“The idea for this series was to create a tension between attraction and wondering by exaggerating what produce could become via GMO,” Stadler told Dezeen.

“We all love a shiny, spotless apple or a seedless watermelon, but this also raises the question of how far we should go with altering nature and turning food into standardised, marketing-driven products,” he continued.

“As I am convinced humour is the best entry to raise consciousness and discussion, the OMG-GMO objects are a gentle reminder of a problematic aspect whilst bringing joy to someone’s home.”

OMG-GMO furniture and lighting in the shape of fruit and vegetables by Robert Stadler
Stadler designed the collection to be whimsical and humorous

Handmade by Italian ceramics company Bitossi Ceramiche, the OMG-GMO collection was made up of 10 humorous objects, including angular lemon paperweights and a coat stand topped with spotless yellow bananas.

A stool named Juicy Joseph features a square watermelon slice seat with oversized brown nuts holding the four legs in place.

Juicy Joseph watermelon silce stool from the OMG-GMO collection
Juicy Joseph has a watermelon slice for a seat

A series of zucchinis bent into L shapes to support wooden bookshelves, and four round aubergines hold up a sheet of glass to form a coffee table titled Gay Gae, which was informed by Ge Aulenti’s Tavolo con Ruote table.

Also included in the collection was a table lamp made up of three carrots in a tripod formation and four long cucumbers stacked end-to-end to create the stem of a tall floor lamp.

“We used the natural shapes of the fruit and vegetable that already suggest a possible use, such as the bolt-shaped top of a zucchini for screwing the shelves together or the concave section of the rhubarb in order to house the lamp’s LED strip and the cable,” said Stadler.

“As for the nuts serving to strengthen Juicy Josef’s legs, it’s more of a joke,” the designer continued. “All the design choices can be called ‘serious absurdities’.”

Glass coffee table with aubergine wheel legs by Robert Stadler
Gay Gae is a coffee table with round aubergine legs

Stadler referred to the history of representing fruit and produce in art and design, highlighting the artificial nature of our food today.

He described modern-day fruit and vegetables as almost unrecognisable from their wild origins due to agricultural domestication, selective breeding, and bioengineering.

“Sharing my life between Paris and a small town in Sicily, where we grow some of the produce for our own needs, made me much more aware of the contrast between the naturally grown and the industrialised as well as the GMO,” said Stadler.

Tripod carrot lamp in the OMG-GMO collection
OMG-GMO was showcased at Fuorisalone during Milan Design Week

Originally previewed in 2022 inside Philip Johnson‘s Glass House in Connecticut, OMG-GMO was presented as an exhibition in Milan curated by Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte. After Milan, the collection will be showcased in Piraeus, Greece, at Carwan Gallery‘s flagship space.

Other furniture collections Stadler has designed and exhibited include furniture made from construction materials and furniture designs that were paired with sculptures by Isamu Noguchi for installations showcased at the Noguchi Museum.

The photography is by Filippo Telaro unless stated.

OMG-GMO took place from 13 to 23 April 2023 at Carwan Gallery, Via Zenale 3, Milan, Italy. See our Milan design week 2023 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

The post Robert Stadler designs whimsical furniture informed by genetically modified food appeared first on Dezeen.

No Responses to “Robert Stadler designs whimsical furniture informed by genetically modified food”

Post a Comment