Zone Stories: Whimsical, Surreal Designs with Pet Furniture
In a society built of straight lines and right angles — high-rise skylines and ubiquitous, unexceptional condominiums — Pet Furniture is a conceptual design project that challenges our relationships with the furniture that occupies the spaces in which we live.
Started by Toronto-based architect Michael Fohring, Pet Furniture is one of several experimental fabrication projects supported by the Design Fabrication Zone. Fohring trained in architecture in Montréal, and his experiences and inspiration have led him to, in his own words, “reimagine our relationships and stories with our furniture, amplifying this odd sensation that inanimate ‘things’ just may, possibly, have a soul, or gender, or feelings.”
Fohring explored fabric-formed concrete in his Masters thesis. Through Pet Furniture, he aims to produce stools, tables, chairs and other furnitures with designs and textures that make them appear creature-like. When describing his furniture pets, Fohring states: “They’re infinitely loyal – eager to help and happy to snuggle, they’re always there when you need them. With a bit of love in return, they will make perfect little companions.”
Pet Furniture was exhibited at Helen + Hildegard during the 2017 Toronto Design Offsite Festival.
Separate from Pet Furniture, Michael Fohring recently completed architectural work with Jodi and Andrew Batay-Csorba, of Batay-Csorba Architects, on a mixed-use building in Liberty Village, Toronto. The project won a Canadian Award of Merit. Michael also recently collaborated with an experimental dance team at the DFZ to produce innovative dance props.
Furniture imbued with sentimentality, humour, and identity, is a refreshing creative expression of how we can inhabit space alongside inanimate objects. With access to design and fabrication resources, mentorship and opportunities for collaboration, the Design Fabrication Zone is a place to incubate and develop and prototype experimental fabrication ideas. To learn more about the DFZ, click here; interested in joining, with a design past the ideation stage, click here.