Gross: In Design, Bugs Are the New Black

From ant-trail chairs to centipede lamps, entomology is the new hotness.

Debug chair


Entomophobes won’t like this. The Dutch firm Edhv has turned insect tracks into a chair–a pretty one, to boot. But consider: Every time you sit down, you’ll think of ants crawling around your heinie. Egad!

The chair’s called Debug, and it
debuted at the Milan Furniture Fair last month. You make it by shoving
some insects–ants, crickets, whatever–into an ad hoc mapping
machine, then recording their every frazzled move. The data that pops out is dispatched to 3-D modeling software, and poof,
you’ve hatched your very own wood-lice chair.

Debug chair

Gross, right? Except that everyone’s swarming to bugs nowadays. Behold Nymph, the world’s creepiest lamp from Site Specific Design!

Nymph lamp

The Lobster Chair, designed by Lund
& Paarmann
for Verikon
, which makes us think of something we’d tweeze from a
dog’s scruf.

Lobster chair



Insect wallpaper by Timorous Beasties. Gnatty!

timorous beasties wallpaper

And here’s SOM’s
brass-and-glass addition to the New School in Greenwich Village, which
looks like a giant ant colony:



It was inevitable, this critter craze, what with every designer this side of the 21st century drawing inspiration from nature. Amoebae already had their moment. Ditto deer. Insects were long overdue.

Let’s just hope designers don’t take it too far, because no one wants to feel as though he’s sitting on a cockroach. Too late! This chair was designed to simulate just that:


About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D