L'Album Photo (The Photo Album)

L’Album Photo is a combination cupboard, sports locker, and gym bench for the storage of a photo album and a collection of books. Says Cataldo Zitolo of his favorite object: "I dedicated all my life to football, which is my passion. This photo album is the only way for me to remember my daughters when they were children."

L'Ordinateur Portable (Portable Laptop)

A funneled laptop desk highlights a woman’s relationship with her computer -- her window onto the world.

La Fourchette (The Fork)

A dining cabinet displaying a collection of 20 ceramic plates pricked with fork marks, symbolizing the dinners the utensil was a part of.

Le Lustre (The Chandelier)

A wooden archway supports a light suspended over four chairs. The installation provides illumination without an elaborate chandelier.

Le Lustre (The Chandelier)

A wooden archway supports a light suspended over four chairs. The installation provides illumination without an elaborate chandelier.

Les Dix Livres (The Five Books)

A bookshelf designed for only 10 books. The short ladder, reminiscent of a traditional library ladder, serves to reach the upper shelves.

Le Parfum (The Perfume)

A large, suspended wooden structure, akin to an inverted lampshade, invites visitors to become enveloped by the fragrance inside. The experience is heightened by a small stage.

Les Bottines pour enfants & le Crâne (Baby Shoes and Skull)

A symbolic staircase illustrating the transition between birth (symbolized by a pair of baby shoes) and death (represented by a decorative skull).

Les Bottines pour enfants & le Crâne (Baby Shoes and Skull)

Another view of Les Bottines pour enfants & le Crâne

Co.Design

Arty Benetton Researchers Create A Sweetly Surreal Furniture Line [Slideshow]

Fabrica builds pieces inspired by the favorite objects of staff members at Belgium's Grand-Hornu Images.

"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples, then you and I will still each have one apple," George Bernard Shaw once said. "But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas." Along those lines, last month, over the course of a one-week workshop, a bunch of young artist-researchers from Fabrica, Benetton's communication research center, designed and built 15 pieces of furniture inspired by the favorite objects selected by the staff of Grand-Hornu Images, in Belgium. The resulting works are notable for the fantastical ways they seem to capture and celebrate the meanings behind the choices.

The coveted objects included everything from an 18th-century silver fork to a wooden aviary and a chandelier. The fork yielded a dining cabinet displaying a collection of 20 ceramic plates pricked with fork marks, representing the many meals in which the fork took part. The aviary, meanwhile, was reincarnated as a hybrid rocking chair-bird swing that invites the user to swing alongside his pet. And the chandelier became four chairs illuminated by a bulb suspended from a wooden arch. The arrangement, the designers say, delivers the comforting presence of light without an elaborate ceiling fixture.

All 15 pieces are on view as Objet Préféré at the Grand-Hornu through October 23. If you can't make it there, check out the slideshow.

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