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What Happens When You Let Students Design Hotel Furniture

Sex furniture included.

Boutique and luxury hotels often pay careful attention to the furniture in each room. Instead of generic stuff that looks like it came from the clearance section of Wayfair, they give guests name-brand beds, nightstands, desks, and chairs. The functions are more or less the same, but they come in a prettier shell. For Salone del Mobile, the annual furniture fair in Milan, industrial design students at ECAL created a collection of hospitality furniture that’s dramatically different–equal parts clever, bizarre, and inventive.

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Marina Daguet, Archi Pillows. [Photo: Calypso Mahieu/ECAL]
Some of the designs make perfect sense. A headboard features a fold-down backrest for when you’d like to prop up and read or watch TV. A height-adjustable table hitches to a bed frame, freeing up floor space. Designer Jasmina Celikovic added clips to a duvet so it could convert into a Snuggie, a pocket to a bed sheet so small items like eye glasses and phones are in reach, and made a pillow whose density you can adjust. Another bed features storage cubbies in its base.

Then they get a bit more esoteric. Yohanna Rieckhof designed a punchy patterned pajamas set that looks like the love child of Marimekko and Emilio Pucci. The idea? To evoke intense dreams (a welcome change to those ubiquitous white robes but no guarantee it’ll work). A fort-like mosquito net by Iskander Guetta aims to hypnotize people to sleep through the motion of its lightweight fabric.

Then they get a little sexy. Marie Cornil created a body pillow that looks like sausage to “support your body in every way imaginable while working, reading, watching a movie or even during more intimate activities…” the exhibition’s brochure states. (We all know what that ellipsis means.) Marina Daguet created a series of different shaped foam blocks that “combine into a day bed or support you during all kinds of activities on the bed.” One of them fits over your legs to become a laptop table. Another wedge-shaped piece looks an awful lot like the Liberator sex pillow, which is top rated on Amazon, in case you’re curious.

Marina Daguet, Archi Pillows. [Photo: Calypso Mahieu/ECAL]
And some are wilder still, like a pair of slippers whose soles are mini mattresses (the project was a collaboration with Elite Beds, a luxury mattress manufacturer so this makes sense for that purpose).

The products in this collection are one-offs, but if they ever made it into a real hotel I bet its guests would never leave their rooms. See all the pieces in the slide show above.

About the author

Diana Budds is a New York–based writer covering design and the built environment.

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