This Chair Is Supposed To Look Like A Fat Person's Flesh


Augh! Sometimes I really wish designers would stop showing so much skin. Last week, it was human flesh typography. This week it's human flesh furniture, a student project called, appropriately, the Flesh Chair.

Nanna Kiil, a design student at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, created the chair out of memory foam covered in pinkish fabric that approximates pale flesh. Her goal was to reference the shape of an obese human body, in a way that framed it in a more positive light than we typically cast on obese bodies. She took inspiration from the adorable fleshy folds of a Shar Pei as she worked to fold and crease the material in a life-like way.

"The intention is to explore the balance between the repulsive and the accommodating through voluminous curves," Kiil writes of the project, which is on display at the Stockholm Furniture Fair until February 8. Whether that actually explores the aesthetic of an obese body in a positive way, I'm not so sure. Human fat is far less creepy than synthetic approximations of it. If many people already look at fat skin in repulsion, does that not go doubly for a piece of furniture covered in a simulation of it?

Do I want to settle down in a chair that reminds me of the fleshy folds of human skin? Not so much. On the other hand, it looks like it could be supremely comfortable. Like a hug from grandma.

[H/T: Dezeen]

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  • It unfortunately reminds me of a National Geographic pic I saw of a dust mite, rendered in pale pink. Aesthetics are so personal and so emotiona based that it is hard to design for 'everyone' and brave to design for a niche market. The (business) genius comes in finding a partial crossover between the two.

  • When the designer joins the real world I trust he will realise that this is quite insulting to quite a high percentage of the population. Very silly at least, very insulting as is.

  • Kompani, you don't say why anyone would be offended, nor whether you are personally or vicariously offended? I can only surmise it's the latter or you'd have had the fortitude to say "I find this offensive" and then explain why.

    It also appears, based on "he will realise", that you didn't actually read the article as the gender and inspiration behind the chair is clearly indicated by "She took inspiration from the adorable fleshy folds of a Shar Pei".

    The only way this can be insulting is if you project the idea in negative ways beyond what the original designer had intended and that, Kompani, appears to be exactly what you have done. On that basis I suggest that it is therefore your comment that is insulting, not only to the designer but to those you purport to defend.

  • This is enormously insulting to literally hundreds of thousands of fat people. First of all, naked fat people don't look that way. Second of all, this is based on a SHAR-PEI. I don't look like a Shar-Pei. I look like a woman, with rolls and curves, and while I am fine with someone trying to approximate me as a chair as an exercise or something, I am not interchangable with a dog. It's offensive because fat people are not upholstered armchairs. Female fat people are among THE MOST disenfranchised, dehumanized and disrespected group of people you will find in most parts of the world. Do we really need to be compared to Shar-Peis and reduced to furniture?