Domestic Animals by Guus Van Leeuwen



Dutch designer Guus Van Leeuwen presented animal-shaped radiators at the Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show as part of Dutch Design Week last month.


Each radiator is covered with a removable, wheat-filled animal skin that absorbs and stores heat, and can be used for warmth elsewhere in the house.


See more from the Design Academy graduation show in our previous story.

The following is from Guus Van Leeuwen:


“Domestic Animals” is a series of radiators shaped like animals.

In earlier days people were very conscious of heating. Throughout the whole year they were busy to be able to put now and then some wood on the fire that was heating one room in the house during the winter. This one room was therefore a gathering place for the whole family. But over the last fifty years the effort that we take to heat the house is almost reduced to zero - at least in the western countries.


Besides the programming of electronic thermostat we don’t have to worry about the heating system that’s heating our whole house, wherefore the living room is losing its role as gathering place. Radiators are being hidden against the wall and they are by far not as pleasant to be near as the hearth was in earlier days. And all of this in a time we have to be very conscious in the way we are using energy.


“Domestic Animals” is referring to the time farmers used to live with or above their livestock to take advantage of their warmth. “Domestic Animals” is giving more attention to heating. The “Domestic Animals” are covered with the skin of the animal they represent, which is giving them a attraction to get near and touch them, so you can warm yourself up on them. And if you want to be somewhere else in the house you can take the skins with you to comfort yourself.

The skins are filled with wheat seeds which capture warmth and stay warm for a long period of time. In this way you don’t have to put the thermostat higher when you have it a bit chilly, and still can get it comfortable. And besides this all are the “Domestic Animals” beautiful objects that can enrich your living room.

Every “Domestic Animal” Consists out of one ongoing steel tube that starts and ends at the tail. This can’t be bended in one time, so every animal is build from 40 to 60 pieces, which are all bent by a computer-controlled machine. And after that I had to weld all these pieces onto each other to create this one ongoing tube. At the tail the radiators can easily be connected to the central heating system.

Posted on Friday November 14th 2008 at 7:22 pm by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • is this new age barbarianism? next to all modern technology having to kill for human comfort….

    to eat a flesh is i guess still natural, but i find something quite sickening in covering this otherwise interesting sculptures with real skins, that are otherwise completely unnecessary, just for human fancy…

  • Peter

    Is there a dedicated “Radiator” course in Eindhoven? Some obsessed Professor?

    I especially don´t get it because underfloor heating has been invented and it even proved to be a superior design in the true sense. I only want the warmth without any furry radiators, thank you.

  • Ren

    Such nonense that I can’t even be bothered to diss !

  • kingmu

    wonderful idea (now, let’s hear from everyone who hates anything unique).

  • Joe

    Love it! Interesting asthetic, plus the designer did not neglect the utility need of the object. Too bad it couldn’t be used for cooling too.. . well I guess it COULD but there would be a lot of condensation (..sation… sation)

  • OKP

    radiators and eindhoven.. seems they havent moved on from barbaric ideas ..

    i;m quite dissapointed in how design academy is moving on in new ways.. and wonder strongly how it will be now lidewij is leaving too.

    what happened with design that comes more in directing of making sense, serving wider humanity then just this gallery world again.. and these galleries are all soaking in one offs who they can’t sell.. designers should look more to what’s happening outside the academy.. now with the financial crises designers could mix more with business and look into creative nature to put the creative mind back in society and not always looking into products, products and silly products.. get away from the guidelines of academy. the best thing of designer is that your can design your own guidelines

  • Post

    kingmu … uniqueness itself is no quality! guess WHY a lot of things are (or should be) unique … like that

  • shu

    good ideas ! i like it

  • iamreply

    Another pointless project from the academy.
    “Radiators are being hidden against the wall and they are by far not as pleasant to be near as the hearth was in earlier days.”
    Quite frankly i like it that way. it gives you more space and reduces the need to hide them in the guise of ugly wireframe creatures.

  • l dawg

    get a grip PETA lover, this is still a really interesting concept, defintly more appealing than your typical radiator. Am I a big fan of it? its not my taste, but i can handle it.

  • Nothing says ‘Design Victim’ like the smell of slow cooking animal hair in your flat during your friday night dinner party.

  • juli

    lo que ustedes no entienden es que vivimos en un mundo donde impera la autonomia y la individualidad, todo eso es un simbolo de la nes=cesidad de expresion en cualquier tipo de artefacto que produce el hombre. Este diseño esta hecho para el diseñador o alguien que caza animales. Es un experimento, no pretende ser un exito comercial…..

  • Jonathan End

    it sure looks nice. i just don’t like the concept of the fur and skin things,
    can he just remove it?

  • gonzales

    its fine to eat animals but the fur shuld go to waste? now thats just wrong..

    Would it be posible to trade my old radiators with these new fancy looking things?

  • J

    People cry about the fur just because they want to cry about something everybody’s crying about.

    I love the design. I love the fur. I love the link to the past. I love it.

  • st.x

    @ gonzales:
    think we could use skin of dead people as well – they are dead anyway, so why let their skin go to waste too…..

  • st.x

    @ J.
    just because you do not seem to care about killing animals for fur, try not to underestimate the people who do… they are people who genuinely feel for these animals and do not do it out of fashion..

  • amsam

    I love it

  • it’s eerie and the fur make it sadder…

  • Sidney

    a agree that its kind of sad that there is fur on here and i use to think it was wrong, but its only wrong to the extent of abuse and carelessness.
    i think that it is very homey and it is a nice design, and yes many would disagree and say that (quote from st.x) “think we could use skin of dead people as well – they are dead anyway, so why let their skin go to waste too…..”. but when God made us, he made us the “Dominate Species” so yes it would be wrong to say that we could skin our on. you dont see deer or lion eating there own.. so once again i will say i dont agree with skinning animals but it doesnt bother me much, its life and lifes gonna go on.
    P.S: im 15 so if any adults posted those coments i think that they should think a little more about the big picture. come back down to reality ppl….
    – much love and hope to the animals lost for the skin on those stands.

  • bert

    please note, Sidney, that where as lion or deer may not eat their own, it is empirically and scientifically proven that for example bears and chimpansee do eat their own when distressed or extremely hungry. unless there is a notable difference between deer and lions, and bears and chimpansees, i must urge you to do a little research before recklessly blurting stuff out on the internet.

  • tal

    I cannot believe The New York Times chose this company to be in the center of their November 7 2013 Home magazine! This is a horrible murderous company! This is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen! These are not “comforting objects”! They were living breathing animals which this company killed and took pieces of their body to create this sickening fixtures! Imagine pieces of your pet or your loved ones hanging on metal pipes… would that be “comforting” too?