Posted by : Anand January 1, 2009

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WebUrbanist has put together a thick list of "142 Fantastically Funky Modern Furniture Designs." Spanning beds, chairs, tables, storage, hanger devices, clocks, mirrors, sinks and even wallpaper, the list contains some objects that make you proud you decided to be a product designer, and some objects that, well, don't. But there's definitely a ton of eye candy.

We sit on it during the day, sleep on it at night, eat off it and even look at our reflection in it - but how much thought do we really give our furniture and rooms full of it? Some designers have gone to great lengths to get us to view even the most mundane pieces of furniture in a new and different light. From creative transformable, collapsible and comfortable designs to incredible, offbeat and painfully awkward ones here are one hundred and forty-two furniture innovations that will at least turn heads.

21 Radical Rugs and Must-See Mat Designs

Rugs Main Montage

There has never been anything simple about rugs. Once the highest sign of ostentation and one of the standard units of international trade, the status of rugs has been hit hard in the age of uncritical mass-production - little more than something to wipe your feet on. But now? From relaxing rolling terrain to monsters with too many teeth, from snowdrifts to roadkill (and fried eggs on top), rugs and mat designs are enjoying the same creative comeback as any other item of furniture. Which of these 21 examples would floor you?

Amazed Footprint and Tiretrack rugs
(Images via: Amazed)

A fascination with the marks left in mud or sand, or perhaps a protest against some very mess house guests? (In the case of the tyre treads, let’s hope the latter doesn’t apply for their sake). Whatever the reason for Amazed’s design choices in their range of faux marked rugs, they are a fabulous talking point and a terrific gift (say, if you have a budding Leakey in the family).

Splat rug

(Image via: Studio OOOMS)

Worried that house guests might judge you on your choice of decor? It might be best to move swiftly past this example (especially if said house guests are committed PETA supporters). Apparently a symbol of the “continues [sic] struggle between attraction and repulsion”, and with a luxurious square of rich carpet adorned at one corner with a messy depiction of an ex-fox, it’s not hard to see why the Road Kill Carpet will raise eyebrows and possibly a gorge or two.

Longoland rug

(Images via: Longoland)

Or perhaps who wish to terrify your guests instead of revolting them. Whatever the Monster Skin Rug used to be when it was alive and whole, you wouldn’t want to meet one in the wild. This luxurious item made (from cashmere) hides its sophistication behind a mixture of wit and palpatation-inspiring intimidation.

Dialogue carpet

(Images via: Yanko Design)

We’re not convinced the above image hasn’t been Photoshopped, but we’re fully behind the concept for the Dialogue Carpet - made of paper yarn, it can swallow you whole (in the nicest way, as opposed to the Monster Skin Rug). If you like the idea of getting home from work and hurling yourself into the depths of something more like a fairground attraction than a piece of everyday furniture, this is exactly for you.

LASA rug

(Images via: Jab)

We cannot make our minds up whether the LASA felted marino yarn rugs remind us more of something from the deep blue ocean or our favorite candy store. Coming in a range of colors, they look comfortable, stylish and, well, more than a little alive.

Global warming rug

(Images via: NEL)

The message behind the plush Global Warming Rug is clear - our world is changing, and we don’t want to be caught unawares. If the raised felt polar bear is us, where would we go? (For those prone to investing animal-shaped objects with their sympathies, don’t worry - polar bears are great swimmers).

Iraq rug

(Images via: Design Boom)

And in a similar design vein, the Iraq Carpet has a similarly unambiguous symbolism (albeit in this case, rather blunter). Felt figures swarm across the outline of the most famous Middle Eastern “active theater of combat” in recent years, some ominously flat on the ground. House guests have family in the Armed Forces stationed abroad? Hide this one in the loft-space until they’re gone.

Dan Golden rug

(Image via: Dan Golden)

Morphine may be the best medicine, but laughter’s a close second. Dispensing dire warnings and political commentary is all very well, but it’s not guaranteed to cement your reputation as Fun To Be Around. Rugs that make you giggle? They will do the trick nicely, as designer Dan Golden obviously appreciates.

Roses rug and Hide carpet

(Images via: Babygeared and Great Outfit)

Of course, another way to woo visitors is to have the comfiest rugs in the neighborhood. Two suggestions are the American Beauty style opulence of the Roses Rug, which uses felt wool to fabricate the appearance of a bed of rose petals. Or maybe the luxury of this sheepskin patchwork, which looks terrific even before you hear its name: Chocolate Blocks. (If the designers made it smell like chocolate as well, they would be fighting off customers with a big stick).

Sunny Side Up rug

(Image via: Blink Decor)

Poaching an idea from your breakfast table, the Sunny Side Up rug looks good enough to eat - but it’s a little odd as a choice for a rug design? Ever felt like stretching out on an enormous double-yolked fried egg? Quite. If you can get past the slightly peculiar vibe, those yolk cushions (belay your worries of puncturing them) would be great as elbow rests.

Pebble rug

(Images via: 2Form Design)

Moving out of the frying pan, we have another rug that pretends it is made from a less-than-comfortable material - in this case, bare rock. 2Form Design’s Pebble Rug is nothing of the sort, being made of an array of wool balls decorated to look like stone. Ideal for those who want the natural look in their home but are unwilling to stint on comfort.

Flying Carpet and Carpet Rug Landscape

(Images via: Studio Laurens van Wieringen and Gizmag)

Increasing the scale somewhat, here are two rugs that take a bird’s eye view. The Carpet Rug (the name might need a little work) is a series of different-colored ployurethane columns that viewed from standing-height appear to form a relief landscape. Seyed Alavi’s Flying Carpet - which you can see at Sacramento Airport - foregoes suggestion in favor of reality. Walk the length of it, and you “fly” the length of the Sacramento River in aerial photography.

Flying Carpet raised rug

(Image via: ModernTots)

Also carrying the name of Flying Carpet is this topographical marvel of a rug from Nani Marquina. If you are looking for a floor-covering that simulates your favorite patch of local parkland, grassy knolls and all. It’s an ingenious halfway-house between a rug and a beanbag seat - and we’d like the designers to blur the lines even further by releasing aversion with deformable curves, so you can mould your own terrain….

Snowflake rug

(Image via: Design Boom)

…although maybe this is taking the idea a little too far. The Snowflake rug looks like an Australian farm on sheep-shearing day - in fact it’s formed of transparent plastic fibers woven together to simulate a snowdrift. The result is chaotic, billowing, artistically untidy-looking, and probably enormous fun.

RacinTrack and Miles rugs

(Images via: Antoine et Manuel and Big Game)

Boy racers, your time has come. Seemingly created with Scalextric firmly in mind are two rugs designed to drive you round the bend. Big Game’s Miles rug is a spaghetti of a freeway interchange from which there is no escape (you can test this out using the wooden cars that come free with it). For more creative control, the RacinTrack modular system is a series of tiles that you lay down, Pipemania-style, to form your chosen route.

Sajjedeh 1426

(Image via: Soner Ozenc)

Solving a centuries-old problem is this impressively piece of technology going by the name of Sajjadeh 1426. It’s a sophisticated electro-luminescent prayer mat with a design that glows brightest when the head of the mat is pointing towards Mecca (courtesy of a built-in compass and GPS).

Bedside Slippers rug

(Images via: Yanko Design)

And for those Winter mornings when it’s oh-so-difficult to get out of bed because the you know the floor’s bitterly cold? The complete reassurance of a beside rug with built-in slippers! (Is it cheeky to ask for the next version to be heated?)

Montage of Groundbreaking Beds

Considering we spend a third of our lives occupying them, it is surprising bed designs have remained so stable throughout history - until now. Here are 18 groundbreaking beds that are straining to free themselves from convention, predictability and even gravity.

Le Beanock hammock bed
Image: Le Beanock.

Its origins lost in antiquity, the hammock has been a popular and practical alternative to terra firma sleeping arrangements for thousands of years. Le Beanock’s contribution to this tradition is scale: slung between walls on a series of heavy-duty chains, their double-sized (but presumably only one-person) hammock is an eye-catcher, a room centerpiece and a sheer joy when it is time to sweep the floor.

Float Bed

Images: Max Longin.

But other modern beds also aren’t keen on being grounded either. Take the Bed Float - not only can it be fully dismantled in a jiffy (with part of the bed frame forming a carrying case), it is also designed to look as if it’s touching the ground as little as possible.

Hesselgren Bed

Fluttua Bed

Images: Lago and Yanko Design.

Similarly overcome with the urge to levitate are these two beds. Joel Hesselgren’s vision is of bed legs that also double as side tables, in a modular design that can be divided into singles or doubled up and expanded as need be - “a bed that grows with you”. Lago’s Fluttua bed aims for a David Blaine trick: from the right angle, there is nothing but air under this bed.

Okooko Bed / Tree Bed / Casket Bed

Images: New York Times and Shawn Lovell Metalworks and Casket Furniture.

Children like their beds to look like anything but beds (for example, pirate ships are popular) but this habit is not just confined to the kids. The Okooko bed looks almost seaworthy, albeit in a Columbus rather than Blackbeard style. The Tree Bed - part four-poster, part Lothlorien - can’t make up its mind whether it is a bed or a bird’s nest. And the Casket Bed seems perhaps a little too perfect for those with an angsty, gothic-revival obsession with creatures of the night.

Private Cloud bed

Image: Private Cloud.

Another design trend happily carried over from our childhoods is the cradle. Private Cloud have taken the concept and thoroughly updated it with more than a splash of style and pupil-dilating beauty. Rollers can be fixed under the leg-arches to allow safe rocking to and fro, or to lock the whole bed in place - and the whole piece can double as a comfortable (and stable) lounge-chair.

Lomme bed
Image: Lomme.

If you thought Private Cloud looked modern, the Lomme will be a revelation. This egglike bed comes equipped with a “light therapy” alarm clock, a massaging viscoelastic memory foam mattress and a control unit that is a specially modified iPhone. (At this point, you will be correct in assuming the Lomme isn’t cheap). With muting acoustics and a distinctly calming aesthetic, the Lomme seems guaranteed to give you a trouble-free night’s sleep, wherever you are.

Trap Bed / Pump It bed

Images: Come Up To My Bedroom exhibition and Architonic.

Some beds have something to hide. All that’s lacking from this wicked-looking mousetrap-style bed (created for an exhibition, not for sale) is a box of chocolates as a lure, and possibly some kind of first-aid kit. The Pump It bed, on the other hand, could not look less innocuous…since until it is inflated, it’s just a corner of your carpet. An ideal solution to the problem of friends inviting themselves over for the weekend.

Lectus bed / Foetal bed / Hold Me bed

Images: Lectus and Techeblog and Tovdesign.

As much as minimalist is a pure and beautiful thing, maybe there’s such a thing as too minimalist. The classic-lined but somewhat severe Lectus Stripe Bed is a masterpiece of pared-down design, but just how comfortable is it? The Foetal Position Bed is even more demanding: you either lie in exactly the correct way, or you fall off - there is no middle ground. Taking constraint one step further, the Hold Me Bed is arguably the safest in the world, as you’d have to work extraordinarily hard to roll off it.

Napping Pods montage

Images: Trendhunter and Metronaps.

Yet it is not just the design of beds that is changing - their function is similarly in flux. As evidence builds that power napping has a profound positive influence on concentration and energy levels throughout the day, business of the future will have to find suitable furniture for corporate napping programmes. Here are some beds that are ahead of the curve. The two Cocon Napping Pods (the first reminiscent of Ridley Scott’s Alien) and the stunningly hi-tec pod from Metronaps seek to tackle sleepiness with the sturdiest of modern technology…

Nappak inflatable napping bed

Image: Nappak.

…while Nappak is keen for a quickly, easily inflated solution to the problem!

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