Jolly Roger chairs by Fabio Novembre
for Gufram


Milan 2013: Fabio Novembre presented these giant skull-shaped chairs for Italian brand Gufram at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile last week.

Jolly Roger chairs by Fabio Novembre for Gufram

Jolly Roger by Fabio Novembre for Gufram comes in black and white and is made from rotationally moulded polyethylene.

Jolly Roger chairs by Fabio Novembre for Gufram

"When people ask me why I wear a skull on my finger, I always answer that it belonged to my grand-father, who was a pirate, and I think I came to believe it myself," says Novembre. "Everybody should have at least one pirate grand-father in their family tree: it would represent a strong branch to cling to."

Jolly Roger chairs by Fabio Novembre for Gufram

This isn't the first time Novembre has sculpted giant body parts to form furniture: two years ago in Milan he presented huge faces for sitting in and prior to that he launched a pair of chairs that look like kneeling naked figures.

Jolly Roger chairs by Fabio Novembre for Gufram

Fabio Novembre gave us a tour of his home city to kick off the Milan leg of our Dezeen and MINI World Tour. Watch the movie »

See all our stories about Fabio Novembre »
See all our stories about design at Milan 2013 »

Here's some more information about Jolly Roger:

The product is a demand for freedom; a synonym of intellectual independence that follows a brave path, by keeping away from the standardized typological doldrums of the interior design project, and marks a new planning horizon.

Jolly Roger chairs by Fabio Novembre for Gufram

And here is the homage; the scornful tribute to these unwritten codes of audacity and derring- do: Jolly Roger. A chair that formally hints to the skull – the symbol of swagger painted on the red standard of French and then English corsairs and freebooters, terror of the seven seas.

Jolly Roger chairs by Fabio Novembre for Gufram

And it is the globe itself to remain suspended in the internal frame – a map surrounded by the oceans; the desire for insatiable conquest; almost an exhortation not to keep still; a warning: never forget you are sitting on the world.

  • jos

    Who buys this stuff?

  • better
  • marcus

    This is absolute rubbish! First I thought, this is trash, scrolled down, saw the attempt to save it with a naked girl, so I downgraded it from trash to rubbish.

  • Nick

    With Novembre I go back and forth between asking myself why and saying thank God. His designs are most of the time dreadful, with a few good exceptions like his silver trays for Driade and, I must admit, this one.

    Maybe having been surrounded by an infinity of pitiful Nordic-inspired design for the last (too) many years, we have come to the resolution that that’s what design should be, forgetting about the different souls that the design practice has shown to have in the past decades.

    Italian design in particular has always been, like it or not, more in the spirit of Novembre than Nichetto. The Castiglioni brothers, Mendini, the immense Sottsass weren’t surely on the safe side of their practice. Of course being in this position means that you are either loved or hated.

    An IKEA product is something you can surely live with, it answers your needs, but you can discard it as well very fast. It doesn’t find a place in your life. Italian design has always been the opposite; love it or hate it but it won’t go unnoticed. If you live with it it will become part of your life.

    So please, maybe less Novembre, but more good Italian design.

    • beatrice

      It’s terrible Italian design. Pumped up with the usual endless Italian gobbledegook PR rubbish.

      Why do their PR releases contain so many words, but say so little?

  • Trond

    Someone please stop this guy from designing rubbish!

  • Joe

    I think the chair is funny.

  • I think Fabio is a genius. Do I like this skull chair? Not as much as his Nemo chair. I love his use of the human form as functional design pieces, especially in his commercial space installations and I hope he continues along this path.

  • Richter

    Why Fabio, why do you do this? Maybe ’cause it pays off.

  • beatrice

    It’s an ugly copy of that other plastic chair with a skull, which was original and well imagined.

    A display of a lack of imagination yet again.

  • Nathan

    If you fart, this will be a brainfart.

  • Underwhelmed

    I find this like a lot of his other work: bland. Cheap shot referencing sex (his one dimension), sealed with nekkid body in presentation pics just in case you don’t get the message. I can’t even understand how anyone can muster annoyance (assuming they’re not all paid to help generate controversy/buzz).

  • Greg

    Can work for some areas but obviously not for everybody. Agree with previous comment – either like it nor not based on needs and application. Certainly gets a conversation started!

    • Naimit

      Conversation starter? Um. I guess so.

      “Wow. Our hosts have absolute cr*p taste. I’m embarrassed for them.”

      “You’re so critical! Give them a chance! Maybe they’ll come out naked wearing only an eye patch. And then they’ll tell us one of their grandparents was a pirate.”

      “If they’re naked they better not sit in the same skull chair before they expect me to. That’s all I’m saying. Well. That and the chairs are horrendous.”

      That conversation?

  • Guybrush

    To be put together with Hubert’s Labware lamps.