Disgusting Design | PDD

Disgusting Design


on August 8 2012

The phrase ‘That’s horrible!’ gets used all too often when talking about design work so here are some truly revolting designs that put it all into perspective and maybe even challenge if being horrible is such a bad thing after all.

I’m not talking about a ‘horrendous’ material choice or a ‘horrific’ ergonomic grip because these words would be over-dramatic to describe such things. No, I’ve dug deep into the archives of readily available on-line design literature to bring you some truly grizzly products.

As trends go, creating things that disgust people can’t be high on many aspiring designers to-do list, but that hasn’t stopped this determined group from giving it a go.

Terra (featured image from: fellows.ted.com) a unique seat by Adital Ela is made from hay and horse manure – apparently they smell surprisingly good!

Image credit: bioalloy.org

Bioalloy have created their experimental dress ‘Micro’be’ that’s grown from fermenting wine.

Image credit: www.olagiertz.se

Hair collected from hairdresser floors is used to create Ola Giertz’s Bare Hair furniture for a high end salon in Sweden.

Image credit: showtime.arts.ac.uk

Shibin Vasudevan’s jacket is a part of a fantastic collection questioning what waste is – this one is made from dust collected from the back of clothes dryers.

Image credit: fullinsight.com

Formafantasma have produced a range made from natural materials – fancy a stool made from salmon skin and sea sponge?

Image credit: fullinsight.com

Or from the same range – how about a water container made from cow bladders?

Similar to shock, disgust is almost always an immediate and honest response to something you’ve experienced. The above products capture the imagination and evoke a reaction which is more than can be said for a lot of the day-to-day objects we surround ourselves with. Perhaps in some cases, it’s an advantage to design disgusting and stand out from the crowd.

I realise that most people don’t want to keep stuff they find disgusting. No one wants cow bladders and stranger’s hair strewn across their house. But these projects do offer character and uniqueness that so many new designs lack and in a design culture where luxury is moving from show-off to thought-provoking, projects like these may become more prominent.

So who knows, maybe we’ll be walking around in socks made from fish skin and shoes made from manure sooner than first anticipated and ‘sick!’ will finally become a compliment accessible for all.