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A Coffee Table That Pays Homage To Socks (Yes, Socks)

Welcome to a new era, when your dryer can lose your furniture.

What makes a living room cozy? Is it a fireplace? Is it a big plush couch? Sometimes. Other times, you just need a Felicity-sized mug of coffee and a thick pair of socks to feel right at home, anywhere.

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This is sort of the philosophy behind Greg Papove’s conceptual home furnishings, which reimagine textile comforts in new “lighter” ways–namely, by considering socks as a whimsical-yet-familiar component of furniture. “Socks seem to be such a boring pair of objects that we deal with every day,” Papove tells Co.Design. “But once you start to really consider these objects, they contain some interesting information and cultural relevance.”

His “five toes” coffee table embraces the fluffy sock at its core. The piece is a flat-pack coffee table that looks nothing like Ikea’s razor-edged wood. Rather, it’s a part-artist studio, part-slumber-party surface, whimsically deconstructed play on leaving one’s socks around the living room. Meanwhile, the “zap” lamp is socks-driven furniture technology of a very different kind. You won’t spot any athletic-cut cotton in its construction, but by rubbing your own socks against the carpet, you generate the static electricity used to zap-activate the lamp.

“The coffee table showcases how material production methods can be further explored, and proves that flat-pack furniture does not need to be modern, simple, or predictable,” Papove writes. “The lamp deals with human interactions with objects and offers a fun experience when executing a simple task like switching on a light.”

His third piece in the collection is fueled less by socks than textiles. He simply wrapped three reclaimed chairs in textile, creating what’s likely to be a hard, but relatively recognizable couch–a seat worthy of any proper pillow fort. Papove says it’s an “attempt to challenge the status quo and reconsider what a sofa or couch could be.” I see it more as a bachelor pad slipcover, one that’s just missing a few athletic logos to be right at home on some TBS dude sitcom.

As of today, Papove’s pieces are just experiments. And maybe that’s a good thing. Because how long would it be until we’d be running late to work, digging through a pile of clean laundry to find the missing sock, only to glance over at our table and wonder if, just this once, we could “borrow” a piece for ourselves.

[Hat tip: designboom]

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About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company who has written about design, technology, and culture for almost 15 years. His work has appeared at Gizmodo, Kotaku, PopMech, PopSci, Esquire, American Photo and Lucky Peach

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