Even in a house full of the most beautiful furniture, life can get lonely. Likewise, there can be something austere, even impersonal in some of the most well thought-out interior design. The Neotoi Family series furniture by Italian designer Roberto Giacomucci has been created as if to combat both problems at once: abstractly physiognomic, his tables, dressers, cabinets, and more take advantage of our natural tendency to see faces in random patterns. The result is quirky, emoticon-like furniture.
If you’ve ever seen the man in the moon, or spotted a face in the static on TV, you’ve fallen prey to pareidolia. A form of apophenia–our natural tendency to want to see patterns in random sets of data–pareidolia is the psychological phenomenon that makes us see visages in non-human objects: like seeing the Virgin Mary in a piece of toast.
According to Giacomucci, his objects of furniture are “entities with personality…capable of altering any living space into a happy mood.” Produced for Italian furniture makers Emporium, the Neotoi Family series seems to harness the power of pareidolia to make our living spaces seem like they popped out of a Max Fleischer cartoon.
To that effect, all of the Neotoi furniture comes with whimsical names. The Baobab, for example, is named for the famous tree mentioned in Lewis Carroll’s poem Jabberwocky, while the Dodo is named after the famously stupid bird once native to Mauritius. There is Sigmund, a wheeled cabinet with handles shaped to resemble a rather startled looking professor, as well as Pet the Pup, a small night table or television stand with four legs and a ringed eye that makes it look somehow abstractly dog-like. The Magione storage unit looks just like a blathering Canadian from South Park, while the Fichetto dresser looks something like a pixel-art video game character plopped into the middle of a bedroom.
Available in multiple colors and crafted from plywood with a polished-ash veneer, Giacomucci’s work isn’t just adorable, it will make any home look like it’s just a wish away from springing to life, like in Beauty and the Beast.
Co. Design has previously written about other furniture designs by Giacomucci here.